Diagnostic Errors Get the Attention of the Institute of Medicine, Reinforcing Efforts by Nation’s Clinical Pathology Laboratory Scientists to Improve Patient Safety

Along with its assessment of the rate of errors in diagnosis, the IOM has a plan to improve, but will doctors accept the IOM’s advice, or continue business as usual?

Diagnostic errors in the American healthcare system is a problem that is now on the radar screen of policymakers at the Institute of Medicine (IOM). Pathologists and clinical laboratory professionals will welcome this development, because recommendations from the IOM carry weight with Congress.

Thus, should the IOM develop specific actions items intended to reduce medical errors, not only are these suggestions likely to involve more effective use of medical laboratory tests by physicians, but there is a strong probability that Congress might eventually write these recommendations into future healthcare legislation.

The Institute of Medicine is a division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The IOM recently convened a committee that released a list of recommendations to address the problem of diagnostic errors in medicine. Those recommendations, however, are running up against ingrained mindsets and overconfidence on the part of physicians who are reluctant to include decision-support technology in the diagnostic process. (more…)

Two FDA Inspection Reports Show Theranos’ Blood-Collection ‘Nanotainer’ Was an Uncleared Class II Medical Device

FDA details findings from visits by five federal inspectors at California clinical lab company over 10 days in late August and early September; heavily redacted reports outline 14 compliance deficiencies

Two reports released Tuesday by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) brought more bad news to Theranos, of Palo Alto, California. The clinical laboratory company has been the subject of much unwanted press coverage since October 15. In the FDA inspection reports, Theranos is required to explain or correct each of 14 “inspectional observations.”

Pathologists, clinical laboratory scientists, and in vitro company executives who take the time to read both FDA reports about the federal agency’s inspection of Theranos will find insights into how FDA assessors view the lab company’s compliance with FDA regulations and requirements. There were 14 issues described in the two FDA reports.

FDA Said Theranos Nanotainer Blood-Collection Container Is Class II Medical Device (more…)