Recent Study Estimates that 5% of Patients in Outpatient Settings Are Misdiagnosed, Offering Pathologists an Opportunity to Provide More Consultations to Doctors

This spring, researchers at the VA Hospital in Houston published a study revealing that one in 20 patients in outpatient settings are misdiagnosed Publication of new peer-reviewed clinical studies indicates that, within the United States, more than 5% of outpatients—or 12 million people—are misdiagnosed annually. Few pathologists and clinical laboratory scientists would dispute this number because every day they see the best and the worst of how physicians use medical laboratory tests. These...

Findings Confirm What Pathologists Have Known for Years: Significant Number of Primary Care Doctors Are Uncertain about the Correct Clinical Laboratory Test to Order

National survey of 1,768 family practice and internal medicine specialists determines that they are struggling to stay current with changing guidelines for ordering and interpreting medical laboratory tests Recent publication of a new study confirms what pathologists and medical laboratory professionals have known for years: a significant number of primary care physicians acknowledge that they sometimes are uncertain about which clinical laboratory test is the most appropriate one to order....

Study of Cross-Contamination of Biopsy Specimens in 69 Anatomic Pathology Laboratories Raises Concerns about Test Quality and Patient Safety

Extraneous tissue cross-contamination found in all participating pathology laboratories Cross-tissue contamination, regardless of specimen volume or how frequently reagents were changed Pathologists and histotechnologists have long known that traditional methods of processing tissue for diagnosis have the potential to cross-contaminate human biopsy specimens. This risk to patient safety and diagnostic accuracy was accepted over the decades because of the limitations of technology and inability...

When Cost-Cutting in the Clinical Pathology Laboratory Collides with Effective QA/QC: How Savvy Labs Sustain the Accuracy and Quality of their Lab Test Results

As medical laboratories struggle to reduce costs and squeeze their budgets, it is essential that the lab’s quality assurance/quality control program is run properly to protect and enhance the analytical integrity of lab test results When does budget cutting in a clinical laboratory begin to undermine the accuracy and analytical integrity of the medical laboratory test results produced by the laboratory? This question is apparently a subject of much discussion within some lab organizations...

Hospitals Take Steps to Drive Down Medical Errors in Their Emergency Departments

Clinical laboratory managers are often part of the ER’s process improvement team Hospital emergency rooms (ER) across the country are intensifying their focus on improving patient safety  and reducing errors. The cost of malpractice lawsuits filed after errors in emergency rooms is a major reason why growing numbers of hospitals are initiating formal programs to identify and eliminate the source of errors and wrong care provided to patients. It probably won’t surprise most pathologists and...
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