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April 2014

A lot to like about laboratory-provider links software

April 2014—It’s not a race, but you gotta keep pace or risk losing face (and customers and revenue). While this rhyme isn’t an axiom, for vendors of laboratory-provider linking software, it might as well be. “It seems like a new health care initiative, best practice, or regulation is announced every year,” says Tim Kowalski, president and CEO of Halfpenny Technologies. “That makes it crucial to choose laboratory vendor partnerships and solutions that are designed to withstand this ever-changing industry.”

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Q & A Column, 4/14

April 2014—I have a question about the meaning of the word “guideline” versus “procedure.” Checklist requirement ANP. 11670 Specimen—Gross Examination says the following: “Documented instructions or guidelines are readily available in the laboratory for the proper dissection, description, and histologic sampling of various specimen types (e.g. mastectomy, colectomy, hysterectomy, renal biopsy, etc.).” This leads me to question whether the word guideline means the same as procedure. Procedures need to be signed bi­ennially. Does the same apply to guidelines? The formatting is different for procedures. Could guidelines also mean references?

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Newsbytes, 4/14

April 2014—CommonWell executing pilot phase of interoperability project: Competition is considered a positive force in business, but when patients are the consumers, cooperation sometimes trumps competition. For the founding members of the CommonWell Health Alliance, all major players in the competitive arena of health information technology, enabling clients to share patient data across disparate care settings and competing electronic health record systems is viewed as a common-sense move that boosts cost-effectiveness and benefits patients.

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Clinical Pathology Selected Abstracts, 4/14

April 2014—Intervention to improve timing of vancomycin levels: Samples drawn for therapeutic drug monitoring are sometimes drawn too early, which can cause inaccurate results that lead to a potential dosing error. One approach to reducing such errors is to create an information technology tool to assist clinicians in determining the best timing for a sample draw. The authors conducted a study at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, in which the investigators used both an educational and electronic intervention to reduce the number of vancomycin collection timing errors. The information technology-based intervention provided educational instructions to nurses.

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Anatomic Pathology Selected Abstracts, 4/14

April 2014—Clear cell papillary renal cell carcinoma: diagnosis and immunohistochemical profile: Clear cell papillary renal cell carcinoma is a recently recognized renal neoplasm composed of cells with clear cytoplasm lining cystic, tubular, and papillary structures. These tumors have immunohistochemical and genetic profiles distinct from clear cell renal cell carcinoma and papillary renal cell carcinoma. The authors studied morphologic and immunohistochemical features (cytokeratin 7 [CK7], carbonic anhydrase IX [CAIX], CD10, alpha-methylacyl-CoA racemase [AMACR], smooth muscle actin, desmin, and estrogen and progesterone receptors) in 55 tumors from 34 patients, eight of whom had end-stage renal disease.

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