Complying with this standard will help reduce errors by improving specimen handling and tracking, and also reduce lab costs by boosting accuracy and quality.
Clinical laboratories have about nine months to comply with a new standard for bar code labels. The deadline for compliance to AUTO12-A, Specimen Labels: Content and Location, Fonts, and Label Orientation, is April 29, 2014.
While compliance next year will not affect a lab’s accreditation, in the coming years accrediting bodies, such as The Joint Commission and the College of American Pathologists are expected to require medical laboratories to comply with this bar code label standard.
PeaceHealth and the P4 Medicine Institute will partner to encourage clinical use of systems-biology based diagnostics in community care settings
PACIFIC NORTHWEST—In the Pacific Northwest, PeaceHealth has become the first community health system to join the P4 Medicine Institute http://p4mi.org/ (P4Mi) in an important collaboration to demonstrate practical clinical applications of systems biology in patient care. P4Mi is itself a spin-off of the Institute for Systems Biology that was founded in 2000 by Leroy Hood, M.D., Ph.D., and several colleagues.
This is a partnership that pathologists and clinical laboratory managers will want to follow. It shows how innovators in molecular biology are pushing forward to engage community hospitals and physicians’ offices in the fast-developing field of systems biology. Their ambitious goal is to achieve early—even pre-symptomatic—diagnosis through the use of multiplex diagnostic assays to analyze genes and proteins.
Innovative hospital labs are creating collaborative project teams to help clinicians improve their utilization of blood products
If there is a guaranteed budget buster for clinical pathology laboratories in the United States, it is the steady and rapid growth in the cost of blood products. Some hospital laboratories report that the basic cost of blood products has doubled in recent years!
For this reason, transfusion medicine and blood banking functions are now a high-profile target for cost-cutting and aggressive management by pathologists and clinical laboratory managers. “The issues are familiar to all hospital laboratories,” stated Timothy Hannon, M.D., MBA , who is an anesthesiologist and President of Strategic Healthcare Group, LLC, in Indianapolis, Indiana. “The dramatic upward spiral of price increases for blood products in recent years is a major problem for hospital laboratories.
As more attention is paid to reducing the number of healthcare-associated infections (HIAs), hospitals and health systems respond with proactive programs to eliminate many obvious sources of such infections. In turn, this affects hospital laboratories, since they play a key role in every hospital’s infection control program.
The basic statistics are stunning. Hospital-acquired infections (HIAs) affect nearly 2 million Americans annually, resulting in 90,000 deaths and up to $6.5 billion in extra costs, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).