Clinician-Dermatopathologist Communication via the Requisition Form in the Era of Electronic Medical Records: A Review of the Literature

Main Article Content

Haley Danielle Heibel
Clay J. Cockerell


Dermatopathology, skin biopsy, requisition form, electronic medical records, communication, review


Background:  There are shortcomings in the quality and accuracy of submitted clinical information on skin biopsy requisition forms (SBRFs).  Most SBRFs are completed via electronic medical records (EMR), and the effect of this on the work flow and the quality of submitted clinical information must be evaluated to identify targets in clinician-dermatopathologist communication for improvement.

Objective: This review of the literature explored how SBRFs are currently handled by clinicians in the context of EMR, barriers to effective clinician-dermatopathologist communication, and suggestions for improvement.

Methods: A literature search was conducted on Medline, Cinahl, and Scopus including the keywords of dermatology*, dermapatholog*, dermatopathology*, and requisition*.  20 articles were retrieved.  17 articles were included from this search and from cross-referencing articles.

Results:  This review reaffirmed the inadequacy of clinical information provided to dermatopathologists.  Standardization of and formal education in completing SBRFs, along with dermatopathologist access to information and images via shared EMR may improve histopathologic interpretation of specimens and allow for cost-effective patient care.

Limitations: This review was restricted to the English language.  Previous studies have primarily been retrospective study designs and survey studies.

Conclusion: The development of user-friendly standardized SBRFs with validated criteria are necessary.  Clinician awareness of how to appropriately convey information and terminology on the SBRF may significantly improve the work flow of both clinicians and dermatopathologists and patient outcomes.


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