PALGA Protocol Module
The PALGA Foundation (Pathological Anatomical National Automated Archive) was set up in 1971 by pathologists to promote communication and information supply within and between pathology laboratories and to make the information obtained available for health care. All 56 pathology laboratories in the Netherlands take part in the PALGA network. ICT (ICT) developed the PALGA Protocol Module (PPM) for PALGA. The laboratories use this module to draw up reports in a structured manner. The system supports pathologists to understand vital data and this results in a complete report that is drawn up according to the Oncology guidelines. Using the PPM it is also possible to generate the conclusion, the report text, the pTNM and PALGA codes automatically. The entered observations are also recorded in a structured manner, thus raising the quality of the national PALGA database.
Clever technology and knowledge sharing
The PPM is based on LogicNets’ Expert System. LogicNets is the American partner of ICT. The technology of this expert system is extremely suitable to provide technical support solutions in general and for protocol reporting in the medical world; PALGA’s PPM is a good example here. In addition to a lot of technological knowledge ICT is known for its knowledge in the area of Medical Data Exchange. By means of protocol reporting using LogicNets technology, ICT ensures that the data to be exchanged are standardised / structured on input and, once stored in PALGA’s national database, can be used as valuable information for scientific research.
Together with the PALGA Foundation, ICT develops and manages the national protocols; there are currently 30 protocols on the list for development and some of these have already been realised. Agile Scrum methodology is used here and is the perfect combination of domain knowledge (PALGA) and technology (ICT). Laboratories can also make protocols themselves (or have them made). ICT regularly gives a course on modelling protocols. ICT also provides consultancy customised for laboratories who develop protocols themselves with a little bit of support from ICT. Determining the content is the first step in drawing up a protocol. Within the laboratory this gives rise to a considerable amount of work and discussion. The LogicNets technology accelerates the process from discussion to implementation by the graphic environment within which the protocols are modelled; programming is now a thing of the past.