Systemic Errors at Canadian Forensic Laboratory Motherisk Make National News and Provide another Example of Consumer Interest in Accuracy of Clinical Laboratory Testing

Investigations find hair-strand analysis at hospital-based laboratory was ‘inadequate and unreliable’ for tests performed over a period lasting five years or more Another case of a medical laboratory that produced inaccurate test results for an extended period of time has been making headlines in Canada. It demonstrates, once again, that both the news media and consumers are keenly interested in stories involving systemic lab test errors that could possibly lead to patient harm. In this...

FDA’s New Next-Generation DNA Sequencing Platform Intended to Increase Collaboration among Scientists, Pathologists, and Clinical Laboratory Experts

Federal agency hopes its open-source precisionFDA web portal will aid in development of laboratory-developed tests and inform regulatory decision-making One recent initiative launched by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to foster the greater sharing of genetic information may be of some value to pathologists and clinical laboratory scientists  who are developing laboratory-developed tests (LDTs) that incorporate molecular and genetic technologies. The FDA unveiled an open-source platform...

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...

Steady Increase in the Number of Workers with ‘Critical Illness’ Coverage Presents Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups with a New Challenge

Medical laboratories will have to rethink billing practices when providing services to consumers receiving lump-sum payouts from their critical illness policy Employers continue to look for ways to control the cost of health benefits for their employees. One emerging approach that will have financial consequences for clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups is a newer type of insurance that provides a lump-sum payout for some critical illnesses. Policies with this lump-sum payment...

Virus Attacks Hospital’s Medical Laboratory Department Computers, Crippling Workflow and Spreading to Other Departments

Incident highlights need for anatomic pathology and clinical laboratories to protect computer and LIS systems from hackers and malware Anatomic pathology labs and clinical laboratories that continue to run Microsoft Windows XP on their computer systems now have a real threat to address. In Australia, the computers in a hospital’s medical laboratory were infected in January with a computer virus that shut down the system. To maintain clinical services, the lab staff was forced to use...