December 2018

  • Rapid PCR rules as labs ready flu arsenal

    December 2018—With the memory of the 2017–2018 “high-severity” influenza season fresh in mind—49 million cases, 960,000 hospitalizations, a marginally effective vaccine, 79,000 deaths—clinical laboratories have been bracing for the customary annual surge in emergency room, outpatient clinic, and physician office influenza test orders. Although flu admissions have been rising somewhat, it is too soon to know how the season will play out, but laboratories are hoping for a season closer to average. Avoiding a repeat of last year’s travails—lengthy turnaround times, supply shortages, and the need to triage patients for testing—is a must, many laboratory directors say. “We had difficulty keeping up with last year’s demand. It was extremely time-consuming,” says Mary Kay O’Connor, national laboratory director at Summit Health Management, the management arm of the Summit Medical Group, an 800-provider practice on the East Coast.

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  • Multiplex for allergy dx: powerful, but it has its place

    December 2018—In allergy testing, microarray technology offers speed and the benefit of smaller sample volumes, but it has a lower sensitivity and is unable to detect IgE antibodies of all specificities in a given extract unless all allergens are on the chip. For routine use, singleplex assays are here to stay.

  • Could CGM dethrone HbA1c for office-based diabetes care?

    December 2018—A glucose sensor the size of a quarter placed on the body and a sensor filament inserted under the skin could potentially disrupt traditional diabetes care with its continuous monitoring of glucose almost 300 times a day. Blood glucose can fluctuate widely during the day even in completely healthy people, said David Sacks, MB, ChB, in an interview with CAP TODAY.

  • Program zeroes in on histology, digital scan connection

    December 2018—Quality in histology is at the heart of successful whole slide imaging, and a new program that rolls out in January will provide laboratories the aid they may need as they bring whole slide imaging on board.

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  • Put It on the Board

    Pathologists and population health—
    first steps

    December 2018—Pathologists and population health—first steps: Pathologists who want to become involved in population health initiatives can take five main steps, say pathologists and laboratory leaders interviewed for an article published online last month in Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine. In “The role of the pathologist in population health,” the authors report on the interviews they conducted and their review of the literature to answer several questions, among them whether pathologists in both large settings and smaller community-based settings can engage in population health (yes), and whether pathologists are in a position to analyze data for population health (“The data are there,” they say, “but getting to the data—and providing meaning out of it—is the hard part”). One of the first steps to becoming involved in any type of population health management activities, the authors write, is to understand the philosophy of the institution’s CEO and senior management.

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  • Selected Pathology Abstracts
    Clinical pathology: RH genotype matching for transfusion support in sickle cell disease. Read more.
    Anatomic pathology: Distinguishing patients with double somatic mismatch-repair mutations from those with Lynch syndrome. Read more.
    Molecular pathology: Development of brain circuits after gene therapy for Parkinson’s disease. Read more.

  • Q&A column

    Q. Can you explain further the revised CAP checklist requirement COM.40850 “LDT and Class I ASR Reporting,” which says to describe the method and performance characteristics in test reports unless the information is available to the clinician in an equivalent format? Read answer.
    Q. Can we see reactive lymphocytes in the pediatric population (under age two), and can we report them? Read answer.

  • Click to view these CAP TODAY departments:
    President’s Desk
    Clinical pathology selected abstracts
    Anatomic pathology selected abstracts
    Molecular pathology selected abstracts
    Q&A column
    Put It on the Board

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CAP TODAY Recommends

  • 3rd annual Diagnostic Management Team meeting

    The third annual Diagnostic Management Team meeting will be held March 5–6 at the Galveston Island Convention Center, in Galveston, Tex. The focus of the meeting is on the barriers that exist for the rapid and significant growth of diagnostic management teams to reduce medical error and optimize laboratory test use. Barriers include communication and conductivity limitations, insufficient payment for consultation services by the DMT, an inadequate number of individuals able to lead a DMT, and the cultural barriers that prevent established laboratory directors from becoming DMT leaders. The two-day event will feature three diagnostic management teams—microbiology, hematopathology, and platelet refractoriness—and includes speakers, poster presentations, and a panel discussion and will close with a live webinar.

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  • Luminex offers white paper on preventing CDI

    A white paper titled “Can Global Testing for C. difficile Carriers Help to Prevent Healthcare-associated CDI?” from Luminex discusses the results of two recent studies that show that performing C. difficile testing only in patients with clinically significant diarrhea may be missing an opportunity to prevent CDI transmission from asymptomatic carriers. Download the white paper.

  • CMS national coverage decision on next-generation sequencing

    A new white paper titled “The CMS National Coverage Decision on NGS” from Diaceutics provides coverage of ongoing developments since the NGS national coverage decision was made. Read the white paper (requires free registration).

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  • Cytopathology in Focus: Synergy in cytopathology and molecular microbiology

    August 2018—In today’s less-is-more world, health care consumers and providers often seek explicit and detailed information from minimally invasive procedures and tiny samples. Over are the days of “malignant cells present” and on to the next case. Cytopathologists and cytotechnologists are embracing and integrating novel techniques and applying new methods to the diagnosis and classification of essentially every imaginable form of neoplasia. The 2018 WHO publications confirm that 29 percent of deaths worldwide (more than 10 million people annually) are attributable to communicable diseases.1,2 This means the purpose of procuring many specimens is not to just rule out malignancy but also to diagnose infectious etiologies.

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  • Cytopathology in Focus: Why not call everything ASCUS?

    August 2018—Below is a question shared on the ASC listserv. My reply to the question follows. A pathologist colleague who practiced previously as an obstetrician/gynecologist is of the opinion that categorizing the level of abnormality we observe on a Pap test is a waste of time. All the clinician needs to know, he says, is whether the test is normal or abnormal. The Pap test is a screening test, he says correctly, and its only relevance is in pointing out who needs a colposcopy and biopsy.

  • Cytopathology in Focus: Cytology social media—Facebook and Twitter as networking tools

    August 2018—If you are not already using social media professionally, you may not know there is a vibrant and active community of pathologists, including many cytopathologists, on Facebook and Twitter—and getting involved is easy, fun, and educational.

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  • Beckman Coulter releases software for clinical labs

    December 2018—Beckman Coulter launched Kaluza C Flow Cytometry Analysis Software, which aims to streamline clinical QC reporting and address standardization issues in flow cytometry. Kaluza C improves the visualization and analysis of rare events. It makes it possible to process large, multicolor files with up to 20 million events and set the plot resolution according to the gate level. The software enables the operator to focus on a limited number of events to preserve the integrity of the scatterplot.

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  • GenomOncology pathology workbench at Emory

    December 2018—GenomOncology announced that Emory Healthcare is using GenomOncology’s GO Pathology Workbench system as part of its clinical reporting process.

  • H&E stain kit

    December 2018—Sakura Finetek USA launched the Tissue-Tek Prisma H&E Stain Kit #1, specifically designed for the Tissue-Tek Prisma line of stainers.

  • FDA grants EUA for Chembio Ebola test

    December 2018—Chembio Diagnostics announced FDA emergency use authorization for its DPP Ebola Antigen System for use with human capillary fingerstick whole blood, EDTA venous whole blood, and EDTA plasma. The test detects viral antigens and provides qualitative results in 15 to 20 minutes when used with the handheld, battery-operated DPP Micro Reader.

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