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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

Hoping to Become Heavyweights in Healthcare Big Data, IBM Watson Health Teams Up with Siemens Radiology and In Vitro Diagnostics Businesses

Big data offers new opportunities for healthcare providers, clinical laboratories, and pathology groups, and this new alliance hopes to accelerate big data capabilities

Big data has the potential to deliver unprecedented insight into optimizing the patient care experience and managing outcomes for healthcare providers. That is particularly true for clinical laboratories, and pathology groups. Yet, with the sheer amount of data generated by today’s ever-expanding menus of diagnostic procedures, communicating this data between systems and analyzing data at high-levels still presents challenges.

To help healthcare organizations jumpstart their Big Data programs, key stakeholders are joining forces. One such alliance involves Siemens Healthineers and IBM Watson Health. In an October 2016 press release, the two organizations announced a five-year global strategic alliance aimed at helping healthcare professionals optimize value-based care that leverages increasingly complex data collected for use in precision medicine.

What should intrigue pathologists and medical laboratory managers about this new alliance is the fact that Siemens Healthineers owns two of the world’s largest businesses in radiology/imaging and in vitro (IVD). Thus, it can be expected that the alliance will be looking to identify ways to combine radiology data with clinical laboratory data that produce knowledge that can be applied to clinical care. continue reading

In New Zealand, a 20-Year Process of Regionalizing and Integrating Medical Laboratory Services Continues to Be Successful and Push New Boundaries

Last week involved a full slate of pathology meetings and medical laboratory site visits on both islands of New Zealand during Dark Daily’s visit to this Pacific nation

DATELINE: CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND—There’s a good case to be made that the health system in this South Pacific nation is farther down the path of medical laboratory regionalization and consolidation than most other developed nations.

That’s one insight to be gleaned from a week’s worth of meetings with pathologists, clinical laboratory professionals, and health system administrators in the cities of Auckland on the North Island and Christchurch on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island. Your Dark Daily Editor, Robert Michel, had the opportunity to speak at several conferences and workshops, along with visits to medical laboratories.

A note of explanation about nomenclature will be helpful to Dark Daily’s international readers. In Australia and New Zealand, “pathology laboratory” is the common term for the medical laboratories that typically test blood, urine, saliva, and similar specimens. (In the United States and Canada, “clinical laboratory” is used interchangeably with medical laboratory.) “Histopathology” (or anatomic pathology) is the common term for labs that handle tissue specimens in New Zealand and Australia. (In North America, anatomic pathology, or surgical pathology laboratory is used more frequently than histopathology.) continue reading

More Small and Midsize Companies Opt to Self-Fund Workers’ Health Plans Despite Potential Risks: Might Clinical Labs Benefit from This Trend?

Self-insurance trend could push more businesses to independent and local clinical laboratories if self-insurers prefer to offer employees local access to testing services

Three years after the roll out of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) major provisions, more small and midsize companies may be opting to self-insure their employee health plans rather than face the coverage mandates and administrative costs imposed by Obamacare, a recent study found. It is uncertain how this trend will improve the access clinical laboratories and pathology groups have with these patients.

The Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) study looked at trends in private sector self-insured health plans between 1996-2015, with a focus on 2013-2015, to assess whether the ACA might have affected those trends.

Researchers analyzed survey data from nearly 40,000 employers that participated in the US Census Bureau’s Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Insurance/Employer Component. They found that from 2013 to 2015: continue reading

Two Different Research Teams Announce Tests for Alzheimer’s Disease That Could Be Useful for Clinical Laboratories after Clearance by the FDA

A university research team and a global diagnostics company simultaneously but independently unveil two new tests that accurately identify people predisposed to Alzheimer’s at earlier stages in the disease

Medical laboratory scientists and clinical pathologists have long awaited an accurate and clinically-useful test for the predisposition and early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Now comes pioneering efforts from two organizations that suggest real progress is being made.

One organization is an academic center and the other is an in vitro company. It was a research team at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine (RowanSOM) that announced development of the first blood test to use the body’s own immune system to detect mild cognitive impairment (MCI), an early stage of Alzheimer’s disease.

Similarly, research scientists for Randox Laboratories unveiled to pathologists, clinical laboratory leaders, and others attending the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) Annual Scientific Meeting, how their biochip-based technology also could be used to detect elevated risk for Alzheimer’s disease. continue reading

United Kingdom Doctors Call for an End to 10-Minute Office Visits and a Cap on Number of Patients They See

Aging population and funding challenges could cause doctors in United States to shorten appointment slots for patients here as well

Across the globe, health systems share a common challenge: how to meet the steady increase in the number of patients demanding access to clinical care with a workforce of physicians, nurses, and clinicians that may be shrinking due to retirements and other factors. Pathologists and clinical laboratory managers will want to stay alert to these developments, because this same trend is at work within the United States.

The United Kingdom (UK) offers a good example of this problem. Claiming doctors are being “run into the ground,” general practitioners in the UK are calling for an end to the country’s standard 10-minute office visit and a decrease in the number of patients they see per week.

The British Medical Association (BMA) blames general practitioner (GP) burnout on:

• Rising demand from an aging population with multiple health needs;

• Physician and staff shortage; and

• Inadequate federal government funding for healthcare.

Those factors also are at play within the United States (US) healthcare system. The possibility exists that health system administrators might want to create a standard of 10-minute appointment intervals as a norm for primary care physicians in this country. continue reading

Daily E-Briefings

DARK Daily

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.

The Dark Report

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.

Professional Services

Strategic Consulting

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.

Meeting Facilitation

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.

Public Presentations

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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