Smart Branching Pathology Templates

Synoptic Reporting Templates for Pathologists

Synoptic reporting software uses structured checklists, enabling pathologists to create more accurate, readable reports that capture more data in less time. Research continually demonstrates the value of synoptic reporting for pathology.


But not all synoptic reporting methods are equal. One distinguishing feature is template smart branching, which ensures synoptic checklists are instantly responsive, providing a reporting workflow that is both streamlined and thorough.

Smart Branching Pathology Templates

Smart branching templates display only relevant follow-up questions, based on the data you enter into previous fields.

To illustrate the effects of smart synoptic software, we’ll look at a clinical template built according to the CAP Cancer Protocol for carcinoma of the distal extrahepatic bile ducts.

Smart branching often has significant effects for simple Yes or No questions. In the example below, the pathologist has indicated that No, all the margins are not uninvolved by invasive carcinoma.


Above, the No response means that the line of questioning ends, and the pathologist will move on to the next section.

Below, we can see how smart synoptic software responds to a pathologist who indicates that Yes, all margins are uninvolved by invasive carcinoma:


Synoptic reporting software with smart branching presents this series of follow-up questions only when necessary.

In software without smart branching, pathologists would have to tediously select Not Applicable for a series of questions following every Yes or No.

For pathologists following a paper checklist to aid in dictation, it can be difficult to skip inapplicable sections without also missing key details. (And this isn’t the only shortcoming of dictation.)

Smart branching clinical templates provide a balance: critical data is captured while inapplicable fields are hidden, ensuring pathology reporting is both comprehensive and streamlined.