News, Analysis, Trends, Management Innovations for
Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

Hosted by Robert Michel

News, Analysis, Trends, Management Innovations for
Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

Hosted by Robert Michel
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Healthcare Observers Disagree on Cost-effectiveness of Electronic Health Record Systems

Medical laboratory professionals will be surprised to learn that some experts claim American healthcare will not see a return on investment from use of EHR systems

It is the popular wisdom today that universal adoption of electronic health record (EHR) systems will lead to significant improvements in patient outcomes, while also delivering substantial cost savings to the American health system.

However, this trend also requires clinical laboratories to spend substantial amounts of money to provide electronic interfaces between their laboratory information systems (LIS) and EHR systems of their client physicians.

Until recently, very little criticism of these federal EHR subsidies has appeared in the media. However, some experts now assert that tens of billions of dollars hospitals and physicians are spending to implement EHRs and integrate their information systems will never be recouped by downstream savings. (more…)

Public Outcry Over Inaccurate Medical Laboratory Test Results and Misdiagnoses Spurs Government Action in Developing Countries

News accounts of medical laboratory test errors is one reason why patients and clinical laboratory professionals in developing nations are calling for corrective action

From Kenya to the Caribbean, clinical laboratory testing failures are making national news. It is both patients and professional associations of laboratory workers who are fueling public debate and government action in response to public disclosures about patient harm as a consequence of errors in medical laboratories testing.

Clinical Laboratory Stakeholder Conferences Calling For Change

In Nairobi, Kenya, pathologists and clinical laboratory professionals gathered recently for a first-of-its-kind meeting of the Medical Laboratory Stakeholders Forum (MLSF). (more…)

Kaiser and Other Health Systems Create Nation’s Largest Private-Sector Diabetes Registry

New database of diabetes patients opens door for pathologists to improve existing medical laboratory testing algorithms

Integration of healthcare informatics is proceeding at a brisk pace. The latest evidence comes from 11 highly-respected integrated health systems that are pooling data to create the largest, most comprehensive private-sector diabetes registry in the country. It will contain information from 1.1 million diabetic patients.

For clinical laboratory managers and pathologists, this “super diabetes database” demonstrates that many multi-hospital health systems are now willing to pool patient data to make it easier to identify clinical trends. This data will also be used to develop more sophisticated evidence-based medicine (EBM) guidelines—many of which will involve better utilization of medical laboratory tests.

Calgary Laboratory Services Represents One Model of Regional Consolidation of Clinical Laboratories

DATELINE: Calgary, Alberta, Canada—When it comes to regional consolidation of clinical laboratory and pathology organizations, this city at the foot of the Canadian Rockies can assert a credible claim to have achieved one of the most comprehensive consolidation comprised of hospital laboratories, academic center laboratories, and anatomic pathology laboratories seen anywhere in the world.

Officially, this unified multi-site medical laboratory organization is called Calgary Laboratory Services (CLS). Last week, your Dark Daily editor was invited to tour the main laboratory facility that CLS operates here in Calgary.

National Data Points to Major Victory in War on Hypertension

Improved patient health status for controlling high blood pressure augurs well for clinical laboratory testing industry

There’s a big win in the decade-long national effort to reduce high blood pressure in a large number of Americans. Researchers and health policy experts are hailing this accomplishment as proof that patients, physicians, and payers can work together and measurably improve the state of the nation’s health.

For pathologists and clinical laboratory managers, this is a significant development, because medical laboratory testing plays an essential role in diagnosing disease and monitoring the patient’s progress. Therefore, evidence that a national effort on different chronic diseases—such as high blood pressure—can measurably improve the state of health of large numbers of patients helps affirm the value of clinical lab tests in reaching these goals. (more…)