My selection of medical laboratory news and external quality assessment / proficiency testing topics from the daily international news feed.
EQA schemes(EQAS), Proficiency testing(PT), Quality control(QC), Laboratory medicine (LABMED) and Biomedical laboratory science (BLS)
Cytopathology publishes articles relating to those aspects of cytology which will increase our knowledge and understanding of the aetiology, diagnosis and management of human disease. It contains original articles and critical reviews on all aspects of clinical cytology in its broadest sense,
EFCC and Labs are VitalTM are pleased to announce the EFCC- Labs are Vital Award for Excellence in Outcomes Research in Laboratory Medicine, sponsored by Abbott. The Award will be given to the best published paper, as judged by an independent panel of experts, which demonstrates improved outcomes (clinical and/or economic) arising out of the application or improved utilisation of an in vitro diagnostic test.
I wish happy New Year 2011 to all medical laboratory professionals.
Happy new year, Onnellista Uutta Vuotta,
Ο καινούργιος Χρόνος, С Новым Годом, Eniya Puthandu Nalvazhthukka, Gelukkige nuwe jaar, Sana Sa-eeda, Xin Nian Kuai Le 謹 賀 新 年, Sretna Nova godina, Godt Nytår,Gelukkig Nieuwjaar,
Bonne Année, Prosit Neujahr, L'Shannah Tovah, Naye Varsha Ki Shubhkamanyen, Sun Leen Fai Lok, Selamat Tahun Baru, Saleh now mobarak, Bliain nua fe mhaise dhuit, Felice anno nuovo, Farsælt komandi ár, Akimashite Omedetto Gozaimasu,
Laimīgo Jauno Gadu, Laimingu Naujuju Metu, Nawa Barsha ko Shuvakamana, Godt Nyttår, A stastlivy Novy Rok, Sreèno novo leto, Iyo Sanad Cusub Oo Fiican, Féliz Año Nuevo, Gott nytt år, Sawadee Pee Mai, Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun,
С Новым Годом Z novym rokom, Blwyddyn Newydd Dda
The A-to-Z of ISO 15189: How to Boost Your Lab’s Clinical and Financial Performance
Thursday, January 20, 2011
This is the first audio conference that lets you hear from all three organizations in North America that offer ISO 15189 accreditation. Find out which one is right for your lab. Explore the criteria that you’ll need to consider before choosing an accrediting body. And, of course, what each of these organizations will require from you.
Julie Coffey, Staff Technologist and Quality Manager, Ontario Laboratory Accreditation
Gregory Cooper CLS, MHA, Principal, W. Gregory Cooper LLC
Caroline Maurer, Director CAP15189, College of American Pathologists
A microscope system has been combined with digital image processing to produce an automatic system for blood cell analysis.
The system that automates the assessment of blood counts and at the same time improves the quality of the findings. The integrated slide handling system permits the automatic evaluation and analysis of up to 200 slides.
Batch testing may save your laboratory time and money. Time-intensive or low-volume testing performed on a schedule consolidates labor, controls and other resources. By considering the total testing process, your laboratory can decide when batch testing is appropriate, improving customer service and physician satisfaction.
If your laboratory's current production model doesn't prioritize the needs and convenience of your customers (e.g., tests are batched to reduce laboratory cost only), it may be time to adopt a continuous flow model.
Expression profiles of micro ribonucleic acids (miRNAs) in serum can serve as a subset of molecular markers for the diagnosis of Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and HBV-positive hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
The study demonstrates for the first time that serum miRNA profiles can serve as novel and noninvasive biomarkers for HBV infection and HBV-positive HCC diagnosis.
This study was carried to identify the underlying etiopathology of pancytopenia and to find out the bone marrow morphology of aspiration smears.
70 cases underwent bone marrow aspiration mean age was 30 years (range 21 days to 80 years) 5 cases were children (3.5%), males 33 (23.1%), females 32 (22.4%). The commonest cause was erythroid hyperplasia seen in 28 cases (19.6% ) followed by normocellular marrow in 19 cases(13%), hematological malignancies in 9 cases( 6.3%) and Cryptococcus in 1 cases(0.7%).
Heamogram and bone marrow examination necessitate critical evaluation of hematological disorders to reach a definitive diagnosis. Emphasizing the importance of systematic and meticulous examination of hemogram to render definitive diagnosis is necessary. Diagnostic clues obtained from hemogram and bone marrow examination was useful in early diagnosis of disease and had better prognosis in majority of cases.
Read full article from The Internet Journal of Laboratory Medicine
Do you spend most of your day – including your free time – thinking about work?
Are you more concerned about what your boss thinks than your family?
Would you rather be in your cubicle than in your home?
New study from CareerBuilder looks at indicators of being addicted to work and what workers can do to find a happy medium between work and personal time in the New Year. The nationwide survey was conducted between August 17 and September 2, 2010 and included more than 3100 workers.
Increased life expectancy in the United States has not been accompanied by more years of perfect health.
Indeed, a 20-year-old today can expect to live one less healthy year over his or her lifespan than a 20-year-old a decade ago, even though life expectancy has grown.
“We do not appear to be moving to a world where we die without experiencing significant periods of disease, functioning loss, and disability.”
Working mostly at night has been suggested to be associated with upset of chronobiological rhythms and high blood pressure, but the evidence from epidemiological studies is weak.
In total, 493 nurses, nurse technicians and assistants, were selected at random in a large general hospital setting.
Blood pressure was not different in day and night shift workers. The prevalence of hypertension and pre-hypertension by shift work was not different in the univariate analysis and after adjustment for confounding.
A rapid test that uses molecular techniques can detect and discriminate influenza A, influenza B, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) viral infections.
The tests employ real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to detect qualitatively ribonucleic acid (RNA) of the influenza A or B viruses or RSV in a patient's nasal or nasopharyngeal specimens.
The Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute and Association of Public Health Laboratories have announced 2011 educational teleconferences for clinical and public health laboratories.
Topics of upcoming teleconferences include: The basics: using CLSI antimicrobial susceptibility testing standards; CLSI 2011 antimicrobial susceptibility testing update; Using GP34-a to document blood collection-tube performance in your lab; POCT08-a: a point-of-care resource for non-laboratory specialists; and Molecular diagnostic testing: updated specimen handling guidance. Conferences and registration
What do we lose, if we get rid of external quality assessment or proficiency testing?
What we do lose is the opportunity to check that our standard operating procedures are getting us to the right answer. What we do lose is the opportunity to do a competency check on our operating systems. What we do lose is all the extra time, effort, energy and money is doing the extra testing, and scheduling. Consider that finding a single weakness through PT can save you poor quality costs equaling your laboratory's total PT costs for a whole year, or more.
Read more form Michael Noble´s blog Making Medical Lab Quality Relevant
A cohort study involving more than 1,000 people over age 65 found that those in the highest quartile of HDL-C had a 60% reduction in their risk of developing the memory-robbing condition, according to Christiane Reitz, MD, PhD, and colleagues at Columbia University in New York City.
The higher the level of high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL), the lower an older person's risk may be of having Alzheimer's disease, researchers reported.
One major trend in laboratory medicine still gathering momentum is the use of Lean and similar process improvement methods by clinical laboratories.
“It is common today for clinical laboratories to face ongoing operational and financial pressure. Pathologists and lab managers need to test ever-increasing volumes of specimens, even as the lab budget shrinks and reimbursement declines. And that’s where Lean methods can be a fast-to-implement and effective solution to help labs accomplish more while improving quality.”
Quantitative Molecular Methods for Infectious Diseases
The Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) recently published a revised document, Quantitative Molecular Methods for Infectious Diseases; Approved Guideline-Second Edition (MM06-A2). The document recognizes the increased use of quantitative molecular methods for determining the concentration of microorganisms in patients.
Tokyo Metropolitan Bokutoh Hospital is a 729-bed acute-care hospital located in eastern Tokyo. We retrospectively reviewed the medical data of 19 patients with erythrocytosis collected between August 2005 and December 2009. The patients were divided into 2 groups according to the presence or absence of the JAK2 V617F mutation. Microcytosis was defined as low mean corpuscular volume (MCV).
Microcytosis among the patients with erythrocytosis at the initial presentation was not associated with the presence of the JAK2 V617F mutation. However, transient microcytosis in the clinical course was significantly associated with the presence of the JAK2 V617F mutation.
Microcytosis in the clinical course of PV may be a result of iron deficiency and excessive erythropoiesis due to the JAK2 V617F mutation. In addition, microcytosis in erythrocytosis may be a good marker for the presence of the JAK2 V617F mutation.
Read full article from The Internet Journal of Geriatrics and Gerontology
In any field, improving performance and accountability depends on having a shared goal that unites the interests and activities of all stakeholders. In health care, however, stakeholders have myriad, often conflicting goals, including access to services, profitability, high quality, cost containment, safety, convenience, patient-centeredness, and satisfaction.
Lack of clarity about goals has led to divergent approaches, gaming of the system, and slow progress in performance improvement.
Achieving high value for patients must become the overarching goal of health care delivery, with value defined as the health outcomes achieved per dollar spent
Read full article from the New England Journal of Medicine
Despite years of intensive use, fundamental questions about Troponin methods remain: Is a cutoff near the 10% CV desirable? Is a cutoff near the 20% CV acceptable? What if neither are near the 99% reference interval? Callum Fraser, the internationally respected expert on biologic variation, provides a logical technique for the interpretation of serial test results.
A study group investigated the conformance of various HbA1c POC instruments (In2it from Bio-Rad, DCA Vantage from Siemens,Afinion and Nycocard from Axis-Shield, Clover from Infopia,InnovaStar from DiaSys, A1CNow from Bayer, and Quo-Test fromQuotient Diagnostics) with generally accepted performance criteriafor Hb A1c.
Only the Afinion and the DCA Vantage met the acceptancecriteria of having a total CV <3%> range.
UK experts have recommended against a screening programme for prostate cancer, saying its potential harms would outweigh any benefits.
The UK National Screening Committee says after weighing all the evidence, screening for this male cancer using a PSA test is not advisable.
PSA screening has been contentious because of concerns about over-diagnosis.
Researchers at the Erasmus Medical Center (Rotterdam, The Netherlandsl) have developed a robust and sensitive real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) protocol for estimating age, with applications in various areas of bioscience.
T-lymphocyte cell DNA rearrangements can be used to provide a molecular determination of age, according to a new study
Bloodline, a publication of Carden Jennings Publishing Co., Ltd., is dedicated to furthering and enhancing the fields of hematology and oncology through the presentation of knowledge in the following manners:
the publication of original clinical and laboratory research.
the creation of comprehensive reference works that are continuously useful to clinicians and researchers in the blood sciences.
the creation and dissemination of educational materials.
the publication of new and emerging science presented at conferences worldwide.
the archiving of a comprehensive library of third-party resources of ongoing interest to clinicians and researchers.
the maintenance of a means for clinicians and researchers to interact.
the presentation of material in an easy-to-use networked format
Blood poisoning can be fatal. If you suffer from sepsis, you used to have to wait as much as 48 hours for laboratory findings. A new diagnostic platform as big as a credit card will now supply the analysis after as little as an hour. This system is based on nanoparticles that are automatically guided by magnetic forces.
"Platform technology is not only suited for sepsis tests. It will be able to back up doctors in hospitals and private practices answering a wide range of molecular biological issues ranging from genetic predisposition right down to cancer diagnostics."
When the results of different assays for measuring the same analyte do not agree, clinicians face serious hurdles toward the goal of safely diagnosing and treating patients.Now, a renewed effort to build a coalition of stakeholders to tackle the problems with harmonization has begun. On October 26 and 27, AACC convened a conference hosted by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), inviting laboratorians, clinicians, metrologists, manufacturers, and regulatory officials from around the world with expertise in harmonization to step up the pace of progress.
The preliminary checklist proposed at the conference includes seven domains, each with a handful of questions aimed at pinpointing the appropriateness of an analyte for harmonization. Domains include questions such as:
What is the clinical need for analyte measurement?
Are there evidence-based clinical practice guidelines that include the analyte?
Is the analyte measured in clinical trials?
One theme at the conference was the central role of proficiency testing (PT) or external quality assessment (EQA). “PT and EQA data will help monitor for harmonization after it’s been achieved,”
The organizing committee plans to submit the conference proceedings and recommendations for publication and comment in 2011.
The role of laboratory medicine/pathology is generally unseen by the patient. It is frequently confused with the study of dead bodies, a subject made popular by TV programmes such as Silent Witness and CSI. This is despite the fact that laboratory medicine contributes to an estimated 70-80% of diagnoses. Labs Are Vital aims to encourage the public to understand the crucial role of the laboratory and to lobby on the profession’s behalf.
A mathematical model has been developed reflecting how red blood cells (RBCs) change in size and hemoglobin content during their four-month lifespan.
It appears that erythrocytes from healthy individuals are cleared from the bloodstream before they shrink beyond a specific size. However, in patients with mild iron-deficiency anemia or in genetic conditions such as thalassemia, RBCs continue shrinking past the clearance threshold for healthy cells
High serum cholesterol is strongly implicated in the development of cardio vascular diseases. The relationships between ABO blood groups and cholesterol levels have been established but differ in many studies. Two hundred and ten students were recruited for this study (age ranging between 18-35 year). Blood groups and total serum cholesterol were determined. A chi square test among the ABO blood groups and cholesterol levels is statistically significant at p < 0.05.
Read full article from the Internet Journal of Laboratory Medicine
Scientists believe they've discovered how HIV triggers the death of the immune system's defensive CD4 T cells, which in turn leads to AIDS.
"Our findings have revealed a completely unexpected mechanism for CD4 T-cell death during HIV infection," senior author and institute director Warner C. Greene said in the news release.
A simple measurement of key proteins in spot urine samples can detect preeclampsia in women during the early stages of pregnancy.
Researchers in the United Kingdom report that an analysis of urine samples obtained before 20 weeks of gestation from 145 pregnant women who either did or did not develop preeclampsia allowed them to identify 5 protein peaks that predicted preeclampsia with 92% accuracy.
A safety-enhanced disposal device could prevent more than 19,000 accidental needlesticks and other "sharps" injuries to healthcare workers
The study found the use of the Daniels Sharpsmart sharps disposal device reduced by 81 percent the number of container-associated sharps injuries that occurred in a group of 14 hospitals over one year.