American Association for Clinical Chemistry
Better health through laboratory medicine
October 2013 Clinical Laboratory News: Volume 39, Number 10

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COVER STORIES

The 2013 AACC Annual Meeting and Clinical Lab Expo
Thousands Come for Cutting-Edge Laboratory Medicine Sessions, New Products

AACC welcomed more than 17,500 laboratory professionals to its 2013 Annual Meeting and Clinical Lab Expo from July 28–August 1, in Houston. During the 5-day event, attendees from around the world gained new insights into the future of laboratory medicine on a wide range of topics. Topping off the event was the world's largest exposition of products for clinical laboratories, featuring more than 700 exhibitors.  

In this issue of Clinical Laboratory News, we present highlights from some of the 200 scientific sessions and a look at product introductions from the show.

A New Look at the Metabolic Syndrome
Kahn Says Gut Microbiome Could Be Key Player
By Genna Rollins

As scientists explore the complex pathology of the metabolic syndrome, emerging evidence points to the role of the gut microbiome in regulating obesity and insulin resistance.

The Confusing World of Lab-Based Allergy Testing
Speakers Say Standardization Process Yields Better Test Utilization
By Genna Rollins

Lab-based allergy testing can cause confusion for and misinterpretation by clinicians, but a successful standardization effort showed how laboratorians can lead efforts to improve utilization of these tests.

Patent Wars
ACLU Attorney Warns of New Clashes Over Diagnostics
By Bill Malone

The lead attorney on the Supreme Court gene patent case predicted that patents on complementary DNA—though spared by the Myriad case—may still fall.

A New Look at Alzheimer's Disease
Leading Researchers Detail Scientific, Analytic Advances
By Genna Rollins

Although effective Alzheimer's disease treatments remain elusive, considerable progress has been made in understanding the underlying mechanisms of this condition and in developing standardized laboratory methods for analyzing Alzheimer-related biomarkers.

Straight Talk on Lab-Developed Tests From FDA
Agency's Diagnostics Director Denounces Politicized Debate
By Bill Malone

Intense lobbying of Congress from lab advocacy groups has slowed FDA's progress on developing its proposal for regulating laboratory-developed tests.

Expo Attendees Get First-Hand Look at the Future of Lab Medicine in Houston

Exhibitors at the 2013 AACC Clinical Lab Expo put on a stunning display of new products for clinical laboratories, wowing attendees with everything from molecular tests for genetic mutations to large automated systems capable of processing thousands of samples per hour.

A New Quality Control Option
CMS Launching Risk-Based Model
By Bill Malone

A CMS official told attendees that a new quality control model based on risk management will launch in 2014, called the Individualized Quality Control Plan.

SERIES ARTICLE

Mutations in the EGFR Pathway
Clinical Utility and Testing Strategies
By Honey V. Reddi, PhD

Mutations in the EGFR gene that lead to overexpression of the protein have been associated with an adverse cancer prognosis. With companion diagnostic tests now commercially available to guide clinicians in choosing appropriate therapies for their patients, laboratory professionals should become familiar with the important parameters for conducting and interpreting the tests for EGFR mutations.

AACC UPDATE

Committed to Science and the Public Interest
AACC CEO Reflects on Strategic Plan Goals, Progress
By Janet B. Kreizman

AACC is well into implementing several strategic initiatives, including harmonizing test results, collaborating with other professional associations, speaking out on scientific policy and public health issues, and promoting the interests of our members.

INSIDE

How to Keep Up With the Latest Trends in Lab Medicine
Register for Newly Added AACC Fall Webinars and Stay Ahead of the Curve

AACC's upcoming educational programming delves into the Individualized Quality Control Plan, reimbursement and managing costs for laboratory testing, and the latest news in clinical laboratory science, including point-of-care testing, high-sensitivity troponin assays, and prenatal screening.

What's the Best Way to Expand Your Skill Set in Laboratory Medicine?
Take a Look at AACC's Online Curriculum for Convenient, In-Depth Education

AACC's online certificate programs provide laboratorians with opportunities to increase their knowledge about patient safety and improving patient outcomes, molecular testing, and laboratory management.

PATIENT SAFETY FOCUS

Guiding Providers to Improve Their Test Orders
Tips and Tricks for Improving Utilization of Genetic Tests
By Darci L. Sternen, MS, LGC, and Jessie Conta, MS, LGC

Assisting physicians with ordering the right test is not only an important strategy for patient safety, but it also presents an opportunity for the lab to gain physicians' confidence.   

Improving Patient Safety Through Inter-Departmental Partnerships
How Phlebotomists Can Help Decrease the Risk of Hospital Falls
By Emily Ryan, PhD, and Corinne R. Fantz, PhD, DABCC

Thinking outside the box led to some surprising results when one phlebotomy team got involved in a hospital-wide initiative to reduce the risk of patient falls.

Burnout
A New Frontier in Patient Safety?
By Michael Astion, MD, PhD

Left unchecked, burnout can wreak havoc on an individual's health, happiness, relationships, and job performance. But is it also an adverse risk factor for patient safety?

Heel-Stick Sampling
What Precautions Should Be Taken When Drawing Blood From Infants
By Nancy Sasavage, PhD

While routine heel-stick sampling poses significant risks for newborn infants, these can be minimized with proper sampling procedures.

NEWS BRIEF

Companion Diagnostics Sales to Reach $5.8B

PROFILES

Regulatory Profiles
Industry Profiles
Diagnostic Profiles
News From the FDA

Interactive Digital Edition



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Next Month


Lab Reimbursement 2014

The Clinical Utility of Cancer Biomarkers