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Tag Archives: AACC meetings/conferences —

Urine drug testing debate: How best to test compliance and manage opioid crisis

September 2018—Qualitative or quantitative testing. Hydrolyze or don’t hydrolyze. Use or don’t use standard cutoffs. These and other decisions in toxicology testing have taken on new urgency amid the opioid crisis, which is driving laboratories to change test methods to assess prescription drug compliance and illicit drug use.

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For precision medicine, next-generation mass spec

February 2018—The modern analytical technologies of mass spectrometry continue to garner prominence and broader utility in clinical diagnostics. This was showcased at the 7th Annual American Association for Clinical Chemistry Conference on Mass Spectrometry and Separation Sciences for Laboratory Medicine, held last fall in Philadelphia. Representatives of academia, industry, and regulatory bodies came together to share information about the technology and best practices, the aim of which is to strengthen clinical diagnostics for the betterment of patient care. In opening remarks, then CAP president Richard Friedberg, MD, PhD, shared his hopes for the future of mass spectrometry in anatomic pathology.

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Devices, decisions: POC glucose in the critically ill

January 2018—Using point-of-care glucose meters in critically ill patients can feel like tiptoeing through a regulatory minefield. Perhaps your preferred meter hasn’t been cleared by the FDA for use in this population. Or maybe you’re not sure which assay performance requirements should be regulating the performance of your meters. Or perhaps you’re still trying to define “critically ill.”

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When pain management testing calls for a consult

October 2016—Surprises might work for birthday parties—and even then they’re not everyone’s cup of tea—but not in drug screening programs. Perhaps the most common reason for doing a toxicology consultation is when a urine drug screen yields an unexpected result, either positive or negative, says Nicholas Heger, PhD, assistant director of clinical chemistry at Tufts Medical Center and assistant professor of anatomic and clinical pathology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston.

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As diabetic CKD takes toll, work on tests continues

September 2016—When nephrologist Katherine Tuttle, MD, first saw the photo of two women holding young children, she thought it captured the mother of the boy and girl sitting on a couch with the children’s grandmother. The younger-looking woman, 33 at the time the photo was taken, works in the clinical research group at Providence Health Care, Spokane, Wash., where Dr. Tuttle is executive director for research. Flashing a smile in the photo, Dr. Tuttle’s colleague held in her arms a baby girl who munched on her toy. Seated next to her was a woman whom diabetologists would recognize as having lost sight in one eye, with a two-year-old boy on her lap. Her face, deeply lined with wrinkles, bore a glum expression.

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Painstaking process of drug monitoring

August 2016—As optimists like to point out (in their annoying way), showing up is half the battle. But it’s still only half, as other, equally clear-eyed folks might point out. That leaves plenty to do. And in drug testing for chronic pain management, the work facing laboratories may seem like even more than 50 percent.

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Leveraging urinalysis for value-based health care

November 2015—Tim Skelton, MD, PhD, knows a fair amount about how to enhance the clinical value of urinalysis. It’s a subject that, as medical director of the core laboratory and laboratory informatics at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center in Burlington, Mass., he’s been focused on for the past three years. But he didn’t exactly set out to become an expert in that particular area. He was mainly trying to figure out why his laboratory was experiencing repeated urinalysis quality assurance failures.

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