April 2012 Clinical Laboratory News: Volume 38, Number 4

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COVER STORIES

Direct Patient Access to Lab Results
Are Labs Ready to Respond to Patient Requests?
By Bill Malone

Under a proposed rule, all labs across the country will be required to send results directly to patients upon request, ending a patchwork system of state laws and federal regulation. Experts warn the final regulation could catch many labs off guard.

The Promise and Power of Next-Generation Sequencing
Will Whole Genome Sequencing Become the Gold Standard?
By Genna Rollins

Next-generation sequencing technologies are rapidly evolving and moving towards adoption in clinical practice. Before that happens, however, a host of analytical, ethical, and bioinformatics issues remain to be resolved.

SERIES ARTICLE

Proficiency Testing
Are Accuracy-Based Surveys the Future Standard?
By Gary L. Horowitz, MD and William L. Roberts, MD, PhD

Originally designed as a voluntary exercise, proficiency testing was created to help ensure comparability of clinical test measurements among laboratories. But over the years, data has revealed some flaws in the system. Accuracy-based surveys may represent the paradigm of the future.

NEWS BRIEF

C. difficile Infections at All-Time High

INSIDE

The ICD-10 Delay: Could it Be Good News for Labs?
Providers Stung by Transition to HIPAA 5010 Standards Ready for a Reprieve
By Bill Malone

The Department of Health and Human Services announced in February that the nation’s transition to the ICD-10 medical coding set would be delayed for a second time. But after continued problems with another electronic standard—HIPAA Version 5010—the delay might be good news for labs.

PATIENT SAFETY FOCUS

Ten Ways to Improve the Quality of Send-out Testing
By Jane A. Dickerson PhD, Bonnie Cole MD, Michael Astion MD, PhD

Send-out tests involve more steps and more manual processes than in-house tests, thereby increasing the risk of errors that cause patient harm. But prudent laboratory managers can take steps to cut the risk and improve the quality.

Common Quality Improvement Mistakes
How Can Laboratory Managers Avoid Them?
By Corinne R. Fantz, PhD

Reducing repeat lab errors requires more than just re-educating staff. Lab managers need to confront and eliminate common quality improvement mistakes to make gains.

Letter to the Editor
Recognizing Factors that Impact Safe Care of Special Patient Populations
By Tiffany K. Roberts-Wilson, PhD

Special populations such as transgender individuals face unique patient safety risks that are not widely recognized. Developing practices that overcome these challenges can be enlightening.

View a webcast on transgender issues in healthcare.

PROFILES

Regulatory Profiles
Industry Profiles
Diagnostic Profiles
News from the FDA

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