Autoverification of Clinical Laboratory Results
Patient safety issues have been the focus of the national medical community since the 2000 publication of To Error Is Human: Building a Better Health System by the National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine. For its part, the laboratory community has been researching ways to reduce laboratory related errors, especially in light of the challenges resulting from a shortage of medical technologists.
One approach toward improving these situations is to reduce human involvement in the testing process and opt for total automation. For a comprehensive hospital or commercial laboratory in which high throughput requires quick validation of test results on a total automation line, autoverification is an integral part of the operation. In a smaller laboratory, autoverification may be an important first step to reduce human errors in result reporting. Setting up an autoverification program, and especially creating appropriate rules in the autoverification algorithm, can be difficult, but it’s essential to the success of such a program. Staff involvement and reception are also critical to successful implementation.
This presentation illustrates the basic concepts of autoverification, rule generation, implementation, and the value of such a program in clinical laboratory operations and patient care.
Dr. Sihe Wang is Section Head and Medical Director of Clinical Biochemistry; Medical Staff, Departments of Clinical Pathology and Nephrology and Hypertension; and Director, Clinical Biochemistry Fellowship Training Program, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio. The Clinical Biochemistry Section performs ~15 million tests annually and consists of an automated chemistry laboratory, a special chemistry laboratory, and various satellite laboratories including a blood gas laboratory. Dr. Wang also chairs the chemistry integration effort for the Cleveland Clinic Health System which includes 8 community hospitals and 18 family health centers in Northeast Ohio. Additionally, he is Clinical Professor at Cleveland State University, where he lectures on special topics in clinical chemistry.
He received his PhD in pharmacy (medicinal chemistry) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in clinical chemistry at Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC. Prior to his current position, he was Assistant Professor at Northwestern University and Director, Clinical Chemistry Laboratory and Referred Testing Laboratory, Children’s Memorial Hospital, Chicago.
Dr. Wang is a diplomate of the American Board of Clinical Chemistry (DABCC) and a fellow of the National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry (FACB). He is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Society for Mass Spectrometry and the American Association for Clinical Chemistry. He has served in many capacities in the professional organizations, including chair of AACC Northeast Ohio Section in 2008 and 2009 and the president of North American Chinese Clinical Chemistry Association 2008-2009. He currently serves as the treasurer for the Pediatric and Maternal-Fetal Division of AACC. He has been the recipient of AACC’s Clinical Chemist Recognition Award 2005, 2008, and 2010, and also earned the 2006 Lemuel J. Bowie Young Investigator Award as a member AACC’s Chicago Section.
He is on the Advisory Boards for several in vitro diagnostic companies. Dr. Wang is the author of more than 100 clinical journal articles, book chapters, abstracts, and meeting presentations. He is on the editorial board for the Journal of Diabetes and Metabolism and the Journal of Chromatography and Separation Techniques, and also serves on the review board for the Journal of Pediatric Biochemistry. He lectures in the U.S. and around the world on a variety of clinical chemistry topics, and has been a principal investigator or coinvestigator in several trials to evaluate and validate new testing technologies and novel biomarkers.