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DARK Daily Laboratory and Pathology News

DARK Daily is an e-briefing service providing up-to-the minute news of relevance for anyone working in diagnostic medicine, from clinical laboratories and pathology groups to lab industry suppliers and diagnostic technology companies. DARK Daily is part of The Dark Intelligence Group, Inc. and is dedicated to bringing useful business and management intelligence to laboratory managers, pathologists and diagnostic executives. Our recognized expertise in the strategic direction of laboratory medicine and the management of laboratories is available through DARK Daily, The Dark Report, free White Papers, Lab Resource Directory, the Executive War College on Laboratory and Pathology Management, Lab Quality Confab, and strategic consulting services.

Latest E-Briefings

More Unwelcome News Coverage About Lab Testing Problems as Ice Cream, Clinical Laboratories, and Public Health Labs Get National Media Scrutiny

Houston newspaper breaks story about failure of many medical laboratories to report certain test results to public health laboratories, thus delaying investigations of disease outbreaks

Once again, problems with the existing system of medical laboratory testing made national news. This time, the key players were a maker of ice cream, clinical laboratories, and public health laboratories.

It was a Houston newspaper that first reported a pattern of failures in how clinical laboratories and public health laboratories communicate as clinical labs identify patients who tested positive for listeriosis, a bacterial infection most commonly caused by Listeria monocytogenes. These test results were associated with the recent listeriosis outbreak that was connected to Blue Bell ice cream.

Blue Bell, Listeria, and Lab Failures

On July 18, 2015, the Houston Chronicle reported on David Philip Shockley. He is a retirement community administrator who believes he contracted listeriosis by eating Blue Bell ice cream. continue reading

Despite Federal Regulations That Mandate Patient Access to Their Medical Laboratory Test Results, Survey Shows Most Physicians Oppose Patient Access to Other Clinical Information

In a poll of 2,300 physicians, more than 66% responded that they would not support giving patients access to their full medical records

In recent years, a new federal law made it mandatory that medical laboratories provide patients with access to view their lab test results. However, many healthcare providers continue to resist the concept of allowing patients to have access to their full clinical record.

SERMO Poll Receives Mixed Results

This fact is supported by a recent poll of 2,300 doctors. More than two-thirds of physicians (66%) participating in the survey said that they are reluctant or opposed to giving patients access to their complete medical records, according to a Forbes report.

The poll was conducted by SERMO, a global online social network for doctors. SERMO has 305,000 U.S. members, as well as about 38,000 U.K. members. The poll asked: “Should patients have access to their entire medical record—including MD notes, any audio recordings, etcetera?” The results were mixed: continue reading

Smartphone “Dongle” Achieves Capabilities of Big Clinical Laboratory Analyzers: Diagnoses Three Diseases at Once from Single Drop of Blood

This breakthrough in technology miniaturization holds great promise for improving public health, but portends a disruptive future ahead for the medical labs 

Is the medical laboratory industry ready for a handheld device that can do immunoassay testing without requiring any stored energy? The secret of this device, already undergoing field trials in Rwanda, is that it uses a smartphone accessory, or “dongle,” to capture and transmit the results of the lab tests.

This innovative smartphone device accurately diagnoses HIV and syphilis with a finger prick of blood and displays the results on the smartphone screen within 15 minutes, according to a Columbia Engineering News Service report.

An Ideal Device for Field Work in Resource Poor Areas

It’s mobile and inexpensive, making it an ideal diagnostic tool for use in poor, remote regions of the world. According to World Health Organization (WHO) statistics, the highest percentages of all sexually transmitted disease (STD) cases occur in developing and underdeveloped nations. continue reading

Home-testing IVD Diagnostic Devices Win Rigorous MDEA Design Awards as Part of Ongoing Trend to Move Medical Laboratory Tests Closer to Patient

Innovative designs promote in vitro home-testing medical diagnostic devices that could impact the work done in clinical laboratories

With greater frequency, new diagnostic technologies make it possible to move medical laboratory tests out of the traditional central lab facility and closer to the patient—including patient home self-testing. Even as this happens, engineers and designers are delivering elegant, well-designed devices designed for use in clinical laboratories as well as in near-patient settings.

Evidence of this trend comes from the most recent winners in the annual contest known as the Medical Device Excellence Awards (MDEA). In this year’s contest, two of the products receiving awards were medical laboratory test devices that were deemed to be innovative solutions to improve the lab testing process.

This contest intends to “recognize significant advances in medical product design and engineering that improve the quality of healthcare delivery and accessibility.” The competition was first held in 1998 and is sometimes described as the “Oscars” of the medical device. Receiving an MDEA medal offers validation, publicity, and a host of other benefits. continue reading

Mayo Medical Laboratories Gathers Pathologists and Other Experts to Share Lessons Learned and Successes in Improving How Physicians Utilize Lab Tests

Utilization management of clinical laboratory testing is a big trend in laboratory medicine at the moment as innovative labs strive to add more value

DATELINE: DENVER, COLORADO—Interest in improving the utilization of clinical laboratory tests is at an all-time high among medical laboratories throughout the United States. Last week a national gathering of pathologists and laboratory professionals gathered in the Mile High City to share success stories and identify the best approaches to helping physicians better utilize lab tests.

This one-day conference on laboratory test utilization was organized by Mayo Medical Laboratories and the Mayo Clinic as part of its 27th Annual Conference on Laboratory Outreach. The keynote speaker was Michael G. Rock, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Mayo Clinic Hospitals/Mayo Foundation and an at-large member of the Board of Trustees of the American Hospital Association (AHA) and its Executive Committee.

Analysis of Key Trends in Healthcare

In recent years, Rock has been involved at the highest levels of healthcare strategy development, both at the Mayo Clinic and with several national hospital associations, including the American Hospital Association. He provided attendees at this conference with a razor-sharp analysis of key trends in healthcare. Rock then identified and explained the essential steps that innovative hospitals and health systems are taking to reshape their organization in order to provide the range of clinical services needed to support integrated healthcare and personalized medicine. continue reading

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DARK Daily is a free e-briefing service that provides one short, easy-to-read news item every weekday, highlighting noteworthy developments in the clinical laboratory industry. First alerts to important news events, incisive assessment of best-practice breakthroughs, and strategic insights on important trends make these e-briefings timely and invaluable. Sign up for the DARK Daily today and receive the special report Trends In Clinical Pathology Laboratory Management free.

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Since its founding in 1995, The Dark Report has been the laboratory industry’s most reliable source for useful business intelligence and innovations in the management of clinical laboratories and pathology group practices. Widely-read and much discussed, The Dark Report is respected as a source of knowledge and information that allows lab administrators, pathologists, and industry executives to be first to learn about the latest facts and trends that affect medical laboratories of all kinds.

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With a demonstrated track record of success, Robert Michel and the team at The Dark Intelligence Group, Inc. deliver strategic insight and market analysis that directly leads to increased revenues, improved profitability, and operational excellence. Having continuously worked with and visited laboratories, pathology groups, and lab industry vendors for more than 12 years, Robert Michel brings a unique set of skills and experience to any strategic challenge or opportunity.

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Energize your next public meeting, strategic retreat, or corporate event. Widely-recognized and often asked back for a second and third year, Robert Michel has a recognized ability to help audiences get more from the speakers and advance their knowledge and understanding about key trends and management innovations. One- and two-day management retreats are a specialty.

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For a dynamic and knowledgeable public speaker to turbo-charge your next meeting, contact The Dark Intelligence Group. When it comes to management of clinical laboratories and pathology group practices, Robert Michel and his colleagues are consistently ranked among the industry’s keenest minds.

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