The Design of a Computer Simulator to Emulate Pathology Laboratory Workflows

Megan Patterson, Raymond R Bond, Maurice Mulvenna, Carol Reid, Fiona McMahon, Pauric McGowan, Kevin Cowan, Hugh Cormican

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
144 Downloads (Pure)


This paper outlines the design of a simulator to allow for the optimisation of clinical workflows within a pathology laboratory and to improve the laboratory’s efficiency in the processing, testing, and analysis of specimens. The aim of this research project is to determine whether the simulator can improve clinical workflows since it's design is based on relevant human factors and cognitive ergonomics in mind. Often pathologists have difficulty in pinpointing and anticipating issues in the clinical workflow until tests are running late or in error. It can be difficult to pinpoint the cause and even more difficult to predict any issues which may arise. For example, they often have no indication of how many samples are going to be delivered to the laboratory that day or at a given hour. If we could model scenarios using past information and also the ‘live’ known variables, it would be possible for pathology laboratories to prepare the appropriate resources, e.g. the printing of specimen labels or to activate a sufficient number of technicians. This would expedite the clinical workload, clinical processes and improve the overall efficiency of the laboratory. The simulator will also be used for the purposes of training new staff on the workflow and practices of the laboratory.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages4
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2 May 2016
EventEuropean Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics -
Duration: 2 May 2016 → …


ConferenceEuropean Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics
Period2/05/16 → …


  • Health Informatics
  • laboratory information systems
  • human computer interaction
  • HCI


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