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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Lab-Pharmacy CollaborationBiomarkers of Lung Cancer