Policymakers are demanding that healthcare choices in the U.S. be steered by real data rather than guesses, predilections, or profits. Now, public funding for evidence-based medicine is expanding, with billions of dollars for comparative effectiveness research becoming available under the healthcare reform law. AACC has partnered with researchers in the federal government to steer attention toward lab medicine, and major systematic evidence reviews proposed by the association are now completed or underway.
Guidelines on chronic kidney disease from an internationally recognized expert panel call for a new framework to predict CKD-related risk, based on cause, GFR, and albuminuria. The panel also defined a new role for cystatin C in better identifying patients at risk, and emphasized the importance of lab professionals in improving the care of and outcomes from CKD patients.
The lack of an effective screening test has contributed to ovarian cancer's low survival rate. Although much effort has gone into the search for sensitive and specific tumor markers, few are available today. Laboratory professionals should work closely with clinicians to ensure the available biomarkers are used appropriately to help overcome this deadly cancer.
For laboratory professionals who wish to improve their statistics competency, software programs can help with general statistical analyses, as well as with analyses of laboratory methods and quality control data.
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