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Early career laboratorians will learn the ins and outs of data analytics tools at the 71st AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo in Anaheim, California. This year’s Society for Young Clinical Laboratorians’(SYCL) workshop/mixer promises to blend sun, sand, and surf with a helpful tutorial on using lab-generated data to manage everyday lab issues. The workshop also plans to introduce the concept of machine learning and provide guidance on how to build data analytics capacity in lab medicine. SYCL offers networking, mentorship, programming, and recognition opportunities to AACC members younger than age 40 and to members who are trainees.

SYCL’s day of learning and festivities will take place on August 3, starting with the workshop Creating Value From Data: Tools and Strategies to Drive Your Lab Forward at 1 p.m. With speakers guiding them through examples, participants will get hands-on practice with data analytics tools, according to Brenda Suh-Lailam, PhD, DABCC, FACB, workshop committee chair and director, clinical chemistry and point-of-care testing at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Each hour long presentation will include a talk followed by the hands-on exercise, in which participants will have the opportunity to apply what they learned from group discussions.

Labs are constantly generating data, and data analytics “gives us a way to make sense of this data and to use it in patient care and quality improvement, for example,” Suh-Lailam told CLN Stat. Some of the current data analysis tools labs use, however, can’t manipulate the large amounts of data they have to deal with. “Even though we are having to do this on a more frequent basis, this is not yet being taught to pathology trainees as part of their curricula,” Suh-Lailam explained.

The SYCL workshop subcommittee specifically chose pioneers in the field of data analytics as its speakers. “Each of our speakers has used one or more data analytics tools to create value from lab-generated data” on quality, workflow, and process improvements, Suh-Lailam said. Speakers include: Shannon Haymond, PhD, director of clinical chemistry and mass spectrometry laboratories at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago; Veronica Luzzi, PhD, director of Washington University in St. Louis’ Core Laboratory for Clinical Studies; Alec Saitman, PhD, director of clinical toxicology and special chemistry at Providence Regional Laboratories in Portland, Oregon; and Thomas Durant, MD, a resident physician at Yale School of Medicine’s Department of Laboratory Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut.

At the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. List examples of applications for data analytics in lab medicine;
  2. Use at least one data analytics tool to drive quality improvement;
  3. Describe how to transition from manual to auto data review for mass spectrometry; and
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of machine learning and the steps involved.

SYCL’s California Dreamin’-themed outdoors networking reception will follow the workshop at 6 p.m. The formality of the workshop will fade away with cat-eye sunglasses, candy necklaces, and a beachy decor. A raffle to raise funds for SYCL Domestic Travel Grants will take place.

In addition to the workshop and reception SYCL offers programming throughout the year. For instance, through its Mentoring Connections program, a new initiative designed to help young professionals advance in their careers, SYCL has been grooming new leaders in laboratory medicine. 

Join this dynamic group for a day of learning and networking at the 71st AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo, August 4–8 in Anaheim. AACC members/nonmembers pay $50 for the workshop and mixer. Space is limited, so register early!