Warfarin and other vitamin K antagonists have been widely used oral anticoagulant agents for decades, but are difficult to dose appropriately and can cause adverse effects. Genes influence sensitivity to these medications, but whether genotyping helps optimize dosing for these agents remains unclear. Three recent studies looked at this issue. Did they provide clarity or add complexity to this challenging clinical concern?
As labs consider how they will interact with patients under the Department of Health and Human Services' final rule, they will need to strike the right balance between allowing access and protecting privacy.
For decades, cervical cytology has been the mainstay of cervical cancer screening, but emerging evidence about the pathologic role of human papillomavirus (HPV) in cervical cancer is changing the screening landscape for this disease. As the science involving HPV advances and as guidelines evolve, laboratorians need to keep abreast of testing developments and work with clinicians to ensure appropriate test utilization.
While the recommendations from CDC highlighted the overall superiority of NAAT-based testing for C. trachomatis and N. gonorrhoeae, they also stressed that labs should maintain the capability to culture for both organisms.
PATIENT SAFETY FOCUS
One of the challenges laboratories face is that specimen mislabeling can occur at multiple points in the pre-analytic process. While these single-point weaknesses exist within an infinite set of complex and continually changing processes, a few practical steps can be taken to eliminate these errors.
Evidence is mounting that home-based collection can improve the success of public health screening programs and potentially lead to decreased morbidity and mortality from both infectious diseases and cancer.
By approaching physicians with the right mindset, laboratories can set realistic goals for utilization management so that they can not only be successful, but maintain positive relationships with providers.
Download the entire issue