OIG Report Finds Management Deficiencies at VA Hospital Kept Alcohol-Impaired Pathologist on the Job

VA Office of Inspector General recommends changes in management processes after doctor is sentenced to long federal prison term In a compelling report, the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) found that a host of management failures and “deficiencies in the facility’s quality management processes” at an Arkansas VA hospital contributed to “thousands of diagnostic errors” throughout the tenure of the facility’s Chief of Pathology and Laboratory Medical...

Penn Medicine Researchers Develop Fast, Accurate, Inexpensive COVID-19 Diagnostic Test Based on Electrochemical Technology

The rapid diagnostic test costs less than $5 per unit and can be adapted for other diseases, the developers say, which opens a slew of possibilities for clinical laboratories Just as the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus spurred deployment of new vaccine technology based on messenger RNA (mRNA), the COVID-19 pandemic also could prove to be a watershed for in vitro diagnostics (IVD) innovation in ways that benefit clinical laboratories. In one notable example, researchers at the Perelman School of...

University of Utah and Sloan Kettering Institute Study Sheds Light on How the Body Recognizes “Good” from Bad Bacteria in the Microbiome

Researchers found that early in life intestinal microorganisms “educate” the thymus to develop T cells; findings could lead to improved immune system therapeutics and associated clinical laboratory tests Researchers at the University of Utah and the Sloan Kettering Institute (SKI)—the experimental research division of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York—have uncovered new insights into how the immune system learns to distinguish between harmful infectious bacteria...

COVID-19 Pandemic Tied to Historically Low Influenza Cases, Leading to Uncertainty about Next Winter’s Flu Vaccine

Clinical laboratories may see increase in flu and COVID-19 specimen processing as people return to pre-pandemic social behaviors, experts predict While SARS-CoV-2 infections continue to ravage many parts of the world, influenza (flu) cases in North America have hit a historic low. As winter approached last year, infectious disease experts warned of a “twindemic” in which the COVID-19 outbreak would combine with seasonal influenza to overwhelm the healthcare system. But this did not happen, and...

Academic Institutions Still Rely Heavily on COVID-19 Symptom-Checking Technology Despite Questions About Its Usefulness

A New York Times report suggests that frequent testing is still the best approach to controlling spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus Many colleges and universities go to great lengths to screen their students for signs of COVID-19 using technologies that include fever scanners, heart-rate monitors, and symptom-checking apps. But a recent report in The New York Times, titled, “Colleges That Require Virus-Screening Tech Struggle to Say Whether It Works,” suggests that academic institutions...
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