You receive a phone call from a physician who feels the lab result for a particular patient does not match the patient’s clinical presentation. As you walk back through this patient’s case, you begin to wonder if the problem might have originated in how the sample was taken and transported to the lab. How would you go about investigating and resolving this issue?

An afternoon short course at AACC's Annual Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo on July 29 developed in cooperation with AACC’s Management Sciences and Patient Safety Division—“Troubleshooting Clinical Laboratory Errors: A Collaborative Case Study” (74216)—aims to arm attendees with a clutch of case studies illustrating errors and solutions from across the pre-analytical, analytical, and post-analytical interpretation standpoints. If attendees don’t recognize a specific problem they’ve faced, the faculty for this session intend to leave them with concepts and critical thinking skills around lab errors that will help them figure out the next error they run across.

“We each give cases of clinical laboratory error, and the cases show how sometimes one factor or multiple factors combine to ultimately solve the problem,” explained Sol Green, PhD, U.S. medical director of BD Preanalytical Systems, who will moderate and present cases during the session. “Although we’ll mention some common errors, the focus definitely will be on the more unusual ones that really require a little bit more thinking and give a lot of insight.”

Green plans to present cases with a pre-analytical bent. He’ll be joined by Jack Zakowski, PhD, director of scientific affairs and professional relations at Beckman Coulter, and by Geoffrey Baird, MD, PhD, an assistant professor at the University of Washington and director of clinical chemistry at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Zakowski will discuss analytical errors, while Baird will bring the perspective of a lab director figuring out where to start problem-solving an error.

Through their individually presented case studies and interaction with the audience, the trio expects to leave attendees with insights that will enable them to effectively troubleshoot errors in their own labs. “We’ll start off with some background about each problem and we make it interactive by asking the audience, ‘If you were the lab director, what would you do?’ Then we’ll explain what actually happened,” said Green.

Register online for this session.