DARK Daily Laboratory and Pathology NewsDARK 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.
Consumerism among Healthcare Patients with High-Deductibles Has Not Yet Altered How Most Hospitals and Healthcare Systems Operate
New study shows most hospitals now recognize that patients are becoming more cost-conscious and customer-service driven due to the high cost of healthcare, but few have strategies in place to attract a more-engaged consumer
High-deductible health plans (HDHPs) are forcing consumers to be more cost-conscious when making healthcare decisions. This trend toward consumerism could be beneficial for clinical laboratories and pathology groups, whose patients would have multiple choices in where to purchase medical laboratory testing services and are looking for labs with good quality and competitive prices.
Greater numbers of patients must pay more out-of-pocket for their healthcare, but are also gaining access to increasing amounts of information about doctors and hospitals. As this happens, patients are “demanding straightforward information on prices, proof of value, and excellent customer service,” according to an article in Trustee, a publication of the American Hospital Association (AHA).
However, hospitals have been slow to react to this new interest by patients in transparency in prices and quality by developing a consumer strategy. That’s according to the “2016 State of Consumerism in Healthcare” report prepared by consulting firms Kaufman Hall and Cadent Consulting Group. continue reading
Community Paramedicine Brings Emergency Care into Patients’ Homes, Could Increase Clinical Laboratory Specimens Collected In These Settings
Pathologists and clinical laboratories should be watching for the arrival of community paramedicine programs in their communities
Studies reveal that a sizeable proportion of 911 medical emergency calls result in an ambulance ride and emergency room visit for a medical condition that is relatively simple and not truly urgent. Recognizing this fact, some innovative health systems are creating a mobile “emergency room” service that can go to the patient’s home, provide appropriate care, and save the time and costs of the ambulance transport and emergency room (ER) visit.
This care model is being called “community paramedicine.” Pathologists and clinical laboratory managers should see this as a new example of how the traditional provision of healthcare services is being rethought. The goal is to combine modern workflow redesign techniques with new information technologies (IT) and medical laboratory tests to improve patient care while eliminating unnecessary cost.
The concept of bringing the ER to the patient’s home is consistent with the US medical industry’s shift toward offsite healthcare, which can include telehealth, to accommodate the growing population of geriatric, house-bound, and remote location patients. That is why programs are being created that allow patients to receive ER care in the comfort of their own homes. continue reading
Pathologists Performing Molecular Autopsy in Cases of Sudden Unexpected Death Could Identify Genetic Clues That Help Surviving Family Members Assess Their Own Risk
Pathologists could benefit if postmortem genetic testing becomes more commonplace following incidents of sudden unexpected death
Pathologists are discovering that molecular autopsy, also called postmortem molecular testing, could boost the chance of discovering the likely or plausible cause of sudden unexpected death, according to preliminary results from a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
Researchers led by Ali Torkamani, PhD, Director of Genome Informatics at the Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI) and Assistant Professor of Molecular and Experimental Medicine at the Scripps Research Institute, sequenced samples from 25 sudden death cases. They identified: continue reading
UCLA Device Enables Diagnosis of Antimicrobial Resistance in Any Setting; Could Save Lives Lost to Antimicrobial Resistant Bacteria
In studies, the automated microbial susceptibility testing device for smartphone performed with 98.2% accuracy, meeting FDA criteria
Imagine doing antimicrobial susceptibility testing outside a clinical laboratory. That’s the goal of researchers on the West Coast who are developing a smartphone-based diagnostic device with the capability of performing this type of point-of-care testing (POCT).
This new mobile POCT device is under development at the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA). It promises to bring antimicrobial susceptibility testing—a routine procedure in the most medical laboratories—to remote, resource-limited areas of the world.
Shortage of Registered Pathologists in India Continues to Put Patients at Risk in Illegal Labs that Defy Bombay Court Orders
Professional pathologist’s organization in Maharashtra, India, demands that the government’s Directorate of Medical Education and Research intensify enforcement of laws regulating clinical pathology labs, or suspend the director for failing to comply
There are thousands more medical laboratories in India than there are certified pathologists to supervise and direct them. This is becoming a source of conflict. On one side are consumers who want quality medical laboratory testing services they can trust and government regulators who want to enforce the law. On the other side are tens of thousands of lab companies that continue to operate without certified pathologists and other trained lab scientists.
This is why India continues its struggle to provide licensed and registered clinical pathology services to its more than 1.2 billion residents amid a sea of illegal pathology clinics and a government that seems increasingly ineffectual in its ability to protect patients. Frustrations with government organizations and law enforcement has led many professional pathology and microbiology organizations to speak out. continue reading
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