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Class act in Ohio expands pool of phlebotomists

December 2017—After two rounds of a new program to train high schoolers in phlebotomy, OhioHealth is seeing the fruits of its efforts. It has hired 19 of its trainees and a third course, set to begin next month, has 20 high school seniors enrolled. Just when OhioHealth’s phlebotomy staffing needs were expanding, laboratory services leaders were growing increasingly dissatisfied with the quality of the training students were receiving at most of the phlebotomy programs in the Columbus area.

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Next-gen troponin: out of the gate, into labs

November 2017—The story of highly sensitive cardiac troponin, as written by Dr. Seuss, would provide a small twist. In this version, the Grinch doesn’t steal Christmas. Rather, he keeps delaying it, quarter after quarter, year after year. “I remember maybe seven years ago, Roche told me their assay was coming. It’s coming, it’s coming, it’s coming,” laughs Sihe Wang, PhD, medical director and section head, clinical biochemistry, Cleveland Clinic, and clinical chemistry professor, Cleveland State University.

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Benefits and bumps of shifting to Beaker

November 2017—If they were located in the Land of Oz, laboratories selecting a laboratory information system might not have to make a choice between full functionality and seamless integration with their electronic medical record system. They could just follow the helpful advice of the Scarecrow to Dorothy at a crossroads: “Go both ways.”

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LIS niche modules flourish amid IT consolidation

November 2017—“There’s an app for that” was a common, if flippant, catch phrase to suggest that a software solution had already been devised for just about every need (at least until 2010, when Apple trademarked the catch phrase). In the laboratory industry today, you are likely to hear more references to software’s “functionality,” but the concept is the same. While debate continues over whether best-of-breed products or comprehensive information technology systems should rule the laboratory, health care IT companies have developed a profusion of modules or ancillary applications—sometimes packaged with an LIS, sometimes sold separately—to fill software gaps.

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With syphilis rates rising sharply, syphilis tests a focus

November 2017—Syphilis is making a comeback. Nearly 28,000 cases of primary and secondary syphilis, the most infectious stages of the disease, were reported in the U.S. in 2016—a 17.6 percent jump over 2015 and the highest reported rate since 1993. Cumbersome, subjective nontreponemal assays and the lack of a gold standard screening method lend complexity to the diagnostic process. But new nontreponemal assay options, including the first FDA-cleared fully automated treponemal/nontreponemal dual assay, may help stem the rising tide.

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AMP case report: Follicular lymphoma of gallbladder, November 2017

November 2017—CAP TODAY and the Association for Molecular Pathology have teamed up to bring molecular case reports to CAP TODAY readers. AMP members write the reports using clinical cases from their own practices that show molecular testing’s important role in diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment. The following report comes from Western University and London Health Sciences Centre, London, Ontario, Canada. If you would like to submit a case report, please send an email to the AMP at amp@amp.org. For more information about the AMP and all previously published case reports, visit www.amp.org.

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