Patient Focused Pathology Reports


Dr. Mossonen gave a very interesting discussion regarding the interpretability of the pathology report to the true owner of the report… the patient. His research focuses around presenting information to the patient in a method in which the patient will understand, and be able to retain.

He presents his pilot study with Patient Centered care with regards to pathology reports with Bladder Cancer. Interestingly, his review of the literature in 5 most common cancers in men and women found that no literature identified the patient as a stakeholder of the pathology report. They identified that the reading level required to interpret pathology reports was approximately in 10th grade which contrasts the general to the average United States citizen which is approximately the 6th grade reading level. 

Dr. Mossonen initiated his project with an expert panel of urologic surgeons, pathologists, and medical oncologists. They identified that the three most important aspect of the report were the tumour stage, grade and histology. They then took this to a patient advisory board who had a recurrent themes such as to place it in a narrative format, picture, and risk of recurrence. From this, they were able to generate 4 candidate reports which eventually led to a finalized patient centered pathology report with a narrative as well as a cartoon and a calculator for risk of recurrence. They have released a pilot report in the urology clinic where patients were either given the traditional pathology report or the patient centered report. At one month they had a retention survey which identified that patients were more likely to identify there stage and grade of bladder cancer. 

Dr. Mosonen’s concept of a patient owned pathology report has improved communication between health care professionals and patients. It has allowed for better understanding of their disease state, and longer retention of disease specifics. 

Presented by: Matthew Mossanen, MD, Massachussetts General Hospital

Written by: Michael J Metcalfe, MD. Fellow of Urologic Oncology Urology, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston TX

Ashish M. Kamat, MD, MBBS, FACS
President, International Bladder Cancer Network
Chair, Society of Immunotherapy for Cancer (SITC), BCTF
Director of Urologic Oncology Fellowship
Professor of Urology
Attending Surgeon, Division of Surgery
The University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center