April 2014 Clinical Laboratory News: Volume 40, Number 4

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New Data on Pharmacogenetic Anticoagulant Dosing
What Do Conflicting Study Results Mean?
By Deborah Levenson

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?

Patients Get Direct Access to Lab Reports
How Should Labs Prepare?
By Bill Malone

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.


The Evolving Role of HPV Testing in Cervical Cancer Screening
By Timothy Uphoff, PhD, DABMG, MLS (ASCP)

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. 


Updated STD Testing Guidelines
NAATs Remain Preferred Method, but Require Special Attention by Labs
By Genna Rollins

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.


Fixing the Problem of Mislabeled Specimens in Clinical Labs
Some Practical Suggestions—and One High Tech Solution
By Charles D. Hawker, PhD, MBA, FACB

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.

The Promise of Home-Based Specimen Collection
Home Kits Offer Timelier Diagnoses, Increased Participation in Cancer Screening
An interview with Sharon M. Geaghan, MD

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.

Utilization Management Rounds
Be Realistic When Trying to Persuade Doctors to Improve Their Test Ordering
By Darci L. Sternen, MS, LGC and Jessie H. Conta, MS, LGC

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.


Prevalence of Herpes Simplex Virus 1 Declining in Adolescents


Regulatory Profiles
Industry Profiles
Diagnostic Profiles
News From the FDA

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Next Month

Advances in Diagnosing Pathogens Rapidly

FDA Guidance on Blood Glucose Monitors