July 2009 Clinical Laboratory News: Volume 35, Number 7

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COVER STORIES

Vitamin D Testing—What’s the Right Answer?
Labs Grapple with Confusing Analytics, Evidence
By Genna Rollins

 

The volume of vitamin D testing is soaring, but multiple analytes, testing methodologies, and varying levels of evidence about appropriate reference ranges and interpretation of the test are posing challenges for labs and clinicians.

Healthcare Reform
What’s at Stake for Labs?
By Bill Malone

 

As the healthcare reform debate starts to heat up, lab advocacy groups will have to make their voice heard to ensure their needs are represented in the future direction of healthcare in the U.S. Although everyone can agree on the importance of lab tests, there are several important factors crucial to labs that must be addressed.

SERIES ARTICLES

Procalcitonin
Clinical Utility in Diagnosing Sepsis
By Kristopher A. McGee, MD and Nikola A. Baumann, PhD

 

Diagnosing sepsis is difficult because clinical symptoms are non-specific and often overlap with other non-infectious causes of systemic inflammation.  Learn about the clinical utility and limitations of serum procalcitonin in the diagnosis and treatment of sepsis and serious bacterial infections.

NEWS BRIEF

Rates of Chronic Disease Expected to Rise Sharply

PATIENT SAFETY FOCUS

Smoothing Workflow and Reducing Errors in Specimen Processing
An Interview with Albert Dalbello, Jr. and Linda Nesberg

 

Operations managers from Mayo Medical Laboratories discuss the proper receipt and processing of specimens, test orders, and how to decrease lab errors by organizing workflow.

Why Telling Staff “Be More Careful” Doesn’t Work
Patient Safety Interventions
By Michael Astion, MD, PhD

 

Inadvertent errors can be very difficult to control in any lab, and lab directors often make the mistake of insisting workers be more careful instead of implementing real changes that might stop preventable errors in the first place. 

More on Latent Errors in Laboratory Services
By Bonnie Messinger and Peggy Ahlin

 

Quality managers from ARUP Labs list examples of common latent errors in the lab that every lab director should try to eliminate.

INSIDE

A Legendary Clinical Chemist and Man
Gerald R. Cooper, MD, PhD

ANNUAL MEETING PREVIEW

New Product Review

 

This special advertising section contains new products that attendees will see at the AACC Clinical Lab Expo in Chicago.

PROFILES

Regulatory Profiles

Industry Profiles

Diagnostic Profiles

News from the FDA

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Next Month

Alzheimer Disease: Emerging Biomarkers

Gene Patents: Good or Bad?