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January 2015

Anatomic pathology ‘practitioner’? Emerging roles for the cytotechnologist

January 2015—As new technology is incorporated into practice and health care reimbursement models evolve, the field of pathology continues to transform. For example, in gynecologic cytopathology, Papanicolaou testing is declining as molecular testing for human papillomavirus is incorporated into cervical cancer screening. This has an adverse impact on daily cytotechnology workload. Simultaneously, decreased reimbursement is affecting pathology practices, and questions have been raised about potential shortfalls in the future pathologist workforce.

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Medical genetics labs shine in 10-year proficiency test data

January 2015—Molecular genetics laboratories in the U.S. are doing a great job. Ten-year data from the molecular genetics Surveys in the CAP proficiency testing program show that U.S. clinical laboratories are making extremely accurate calls using molecular genetics assays. At the 2014 meeting of the Association for Molecular Pathology, Karen E. Weck, MD, and Iris Schrijver, MD, presented results from seven of the proficiency Surveys that the CAP/ACMG Biochemical and Molecular Genetics Resource Committee oversees. Dr. Weck is the chair of the committee; Dr. Schrijver is past chair.

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Coagulation analyzers: Recently released and soon to be seen

January 2015—CAP TODAY’s 2015 guide to coagulation analyzers begins here. Diagnostica Stago last year released rivaroxaban and apixaban calibrators and controls (research-use only) for automated anti-Xa activity assessment. It expects in the coming months to submit them for 510(k) clearance, says Nichole Howard, Stago’s communications specialist. The company will soon release the automated ecarin chromogenic assay for dabigatran (RUO).

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From the President’s Desk: Making disaster readiness routine, 1/15

January 2015—Ebola virus disease had taken 6,900 lives in West Africa and exactly one in the United States as of Dec. 18, 2014. The World Health Organization in August had declared the West African crisis to be a public health emergency of international concern. Yet EVD received little attention in the U.S. until a patient who had traveled from Liberia was diagnosed at Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas on Sept. 30 and died eight days later.

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LIS to EHR: Is results transmission what it should be?

January 2015—While no one would question the virtues of accurate laboratory results, a recently concluded Q-Probes study is a new reminder that alone they’re not enough. Results should be reviewed before a lab goes live with a new interface that transmits results to the electronic health record, as well as when changes are made at the laboratory or EHR level that could alter test resulting. They also should be reviewed periodically, say the authors of the study, titled “Validating Laboratory Results in Electronic Health Records.”

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Cytopathology + More | For cytopathologists, MOC exam pass rates and options in 2014

January 2015—Last year was the first year that the American Board of Pathology offered Maintenance of Certification Part III subspecialty examinations. Sixty-four diplomates took a pilot exam in 2013, but it included only anatomic pathology and clinical pathology modules. The secure examination may be taken in years seven to 10 after enrollment in MOC, with no more than 12 years elapsing between examinations. All 2014 examinations were given in Tampa, Fla., but there are plans to offer testing in other locations in the future.

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Cytopathology and More | Touch Imprint/Crush Prep Program better by another name?

January 2015—Do you need a proficiency testing tool for your pathologists and cytotechnologists who perform rapid on-site evaluation? Could you benefit from fine-tuning your cytopathology interpretive skills for the assessment of CT- and ultrasound-guided core biopsies and fine-needle aspirations? Are you looking for a new tool to enhance intraoperative consultation and shorten turnaround time? Why not try the online Touch Imprint/Crush Preparation Program?

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Cytopathology and More | FNA specimens for HPV molecular testing in head and neck SCC

January 2015—Fine-needle aspiration plays a large role at many institutions in the diagnosis of head and neck cancers, and aspiration of enlarged cervical lymph nodes in older individuals is among the more common requests for cytology services. Being that squamous cell carcinoma is by far the most common epithelial malignancy of the head and neck region and that cervical lymphadenopathy in older individuals is one of the more frequent initial manifestations, optimizing these aspirations to direct patient care is a worthy goal.

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