2014 Thought Leadership Series: Free Online Courses

Clinical labs continue to face a number of challenges: declining reimbursement, expanding test menus, and chronic staffing shortages. In this environment, consulting with clinicians to facilitate clinically relevant test selection, accurate test interpretation in the context of clinical findings, and common-sense testing/treatment policies, can lead to better patient outcomes, operational efficiencies and cost savings.  In 2014, the Thought Leadership Series, supported by a grant from Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics, will explore how lab leaders can bring greater value to their organizations by pursuing a new, more integrated, more consultative model for providing clinical laboratory services.

After attending each program, you will be given an opportunity to submit a question to the presenter online and to obtain 1.0 ACCENT Continuing Education credits for viewing the webcast. Here is the first topic.


Course #5—Access the Program (free login required)
The Lab’s Expanding Role in Newborn Screening

Every year, more than 4 million babies are born in the U.S. Approximately 1 in every 300 of these newborns has a condition detectable through newborn screening for certain treatable genetic, metabolic, hormonal and functional conditions that are not otherwise apparent at birth. Screening detects conditions in newborns that, if left untreated, can cause disability, developmental delay, illness or even death. If diagnosed early, many of these conditions can be successfully managed, improving outcomes and reducing costs. During this program, lab leaders will learn about opportunities to consult on the interpretation of newborn screening tests, what they can do and who they can work with outside of the laboratory to improve newborn screening interpretation processes and follow up testing, and what skills they need to be able to expand the role they currently play in newborn screening interpretation and follow up. Practical examples of how lab leaders can work with healthcare providers and others outside the laboratory to improve consultation and patient care processes will be provided.

patti jonesThe Expert:

Patricia M. Jones, PhD, DABCC, FACB, Clinical Director of the Chemistry and Metabolic Disease Labs, Children's Medical Center, and Professor of Pathology, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX




Course #4—Access the Program (free login required)
Clinical Consultation Opportunities in Pain Management

More than 50 million patients in the U.S. are currently thought to be dealing with chronic pain, and many of them are being referred to pain management clinics for help.  To meet demand, the number of U.S. pain management programs is rapidly increasing, and these clinics are quickly becoming major clients of clinical laboratories that provide toxicology services. These clinics look to the expertise of lab leaders when performing urine drug testing to determine compliance as well as to detect the misuse of prescriptive and illicit drugs by patients who are undergoing treatment. However, lab leaders can also provide education on drugs of abuse and how to test for them, consult on test selection and provide other services that can help these clinics provide good patient care.

Catherine Hammett-Stabler

The Expert:
Catherine Hammett-Stabler, PhD, DABCC, FACB,  Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC




Course #3—Access the Program (free login required)
Anemias and Hemoglobinopathies: What Lab Leaders Can Do to Enhance Diagnosis and Management

The number of hemoglobin variants (i.e., hemoglobinopathies) discovered to date totals more than one thousand. The vast majority do not cause any clinical or hematologic problems, while others are associated with varying degrees of morbidity and mortality (e.g., sickle cell anemia, beta thalassemia major). Given what laboratory leaders know and understand about the structure of blood, including hemoglobin and its variants, they can be a valuable asset in diagnosing and managing disorders of hemoglobin structure. This presentation will address how lab leaders can work with others on the healthcare team (such as blood bank personnel and hematopathologists) to improve the clinical interpretation of hemoglobinopathies and anemias in the context of clinical findings, how the process from test order to patient intervention can be improved, and how lab leaders can work outside the laboratory to affect the care of patients with anemias and disorders of hemoglobin structure.


The Expert:
Trefor N. Higgins, MS, FCACB, Clinical Professor, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Alberta, and Director of Chemistry, DynaLIFE DX, Diagnostic Laboratory Services, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada



Course #2—Access the Program (free login required)
Standardizing Protocols and Policies for More Efficient Allergy Testing

The world of allergy testing can be complex and confusing, particularly when primary care practitioners with less knowledge of the ins and outs of lab-based allergy tests are responsible for ordering tests and interpreting results. Faced with a shortage of allergists, Canada recently initiated a laboratorian-led standardization effort that began with an extensive overhaul of allergy testing practices and protocols in the province of Alberta. Dr. Kareena Schnabl spearheaded the standardization effort. Her group found inconsistencies in test formularies and ordering practices, and in the end, decided to focus on establishing standards for the top eight or so allergens responsible for about 90% of food allergies. During this program, Dr. Schnabl will discuss what lab leaders in the U.S. and internationally can do to help their organizations standardize protocols, leading to the more effective utilization and better interpretation of allergy test results.


The Expert:
Kareena Schnabl, PhD, FCACB, Clinical Biochemist and Joint Laboratory Head, Newborn Screening and Biochemical Genetics Laboratory, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Alberta Health Services, Genetic Laboratory Services, University of Alberta Hospital, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada



Course #1—Access the Program (free login required)
Expanding the Lab Leader's Role on the Healthcare Team

In many institutions, the expertise of lab leaders is underutilized, underappreciated, and undervalued. By seeking out new roles on hospital committees and opportunities to participate in institution-wide policy development, clinical consultation, and the provision of full-service patient diagnostics, lab leaders can expand the role they play on the healthcare team, elevate the laboratory profession, and help their institutions save money. This webcast will address how healthcare service provider models in general are changing to meet the demands of today's patients and payment systems, as well as provide a new vision of service for leaders in the lab profession. During the program, real-world examples of how lab leaders can participate more fully in the patient care process, how they can use their expertise to help their institutions improve the diagnostic process, and how they can become more involved on teams that are directly involved in the patient care processes will be provided.

The Experts:

Jessica Liu, Practice Manager, Research and Insights, The Advisory Board Company, Washington, DC



James H Nichols, PhD, DABCC, FACB, Director, Section of Clinical Chemistry, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, Division of Laboratory Medicine, Nashville, TN
Upcoming Webcasts in the Series

Navigating the Complexities of Diagnosing and Managing Hepatitis Viruses—November 18


Target Audience
Laboratory administrators, directors, in vitro diagnostic industry professionals, laboratory managers, supervisors and clinical laboratory scientists who have an interest in learning about how to adapt to the changing healthcare environment.

System Requirements
The presentations are best viewed with these system requirements:

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The AACC Thought Leadership Series is sponsored by AACC and the AACC Management Sciences and Patient Safety Division, and is made possible by a grant from Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics.


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