Emerging research shows that acute kidney injury―once thought to be an episode patients generally recover from―actually speeds development and worsening of chronic kidney disease, adding urgency to the need to develop better, earlier biomarkers of acute kidney injury.
Rapidly advancing technology is pushing laboratorians to consider new ethical questions surrounding how preimplantation genetic diagnosis should be used.
The International Olympic Committee created the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in 1999 to combat the mounting problem of sports doping and to harmonize all anti-doping principles. While anti-doping testing is a niche specialty, all laboratorians should be aware of the methods used by WADA-accredited laboratories to identify athletes who use prohibited substances.
AACC has released a position statement on harmonization of clinical laboratory test results to help patients receive appropriate diagnoses and medical treatment. In this statement, the association provides guidance on how medical community stakeholders can contribute to the worldwide harmonization initiative.
PATIENT SAFETY FOCUS
To avoid errors when performing manual processes, it is important for labs to implement steps to create a quiet, calm work environment while also improving standardization and accountability.
The Internet has contributed to overtesting by raising alarm for patients about innocuous symptoms. Diagnostic tests perform poorly when it is unlikely that a patient has the disease being tested for, though, and ordering too many lab tests wastes healthcare resources and can even lead to patient harm.
To prevent quality lapses during the complex sendout testing process, labs should maintain a robust management program to cope with a large test menu, the unique specimen requirements for each of those tests, and the various shipping and information handling processes expected by reference laboratories.
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