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Digital pathology: A 1st anniversary report card

April 2018—Nearly one year after the FDA cleared the Philips IntelliSite Pathology Solution for primary diagnosis, Philips is reporting worldwide momentum for the adoption of digital pathology. Last year, it helped two labs in Austria—Pathology Institute in Hall and Pathology Institute at Tirol Kliniken—fully digitize their workflows. In North America, “adoption is accelerating as the U.S. catches up with the rest of the industrialized world in terms of digital pathology,” says Marlon Thompson, PhD, MBA.

Fewer false-positive pregnancy results with intact hCG

April 2018—When women of childbearing age check in at a cancer center where they might be undergoing medical or surgical treatment, the screening protocol is often to test them for pregnancy, primarily by quantifying serum β-hCG. But because a form of the β-hCG subunit can also be produced by several epithelial cancers, false-positive pregnancy results are more common in patients who have cancer.

LCIS variants and DCIS: tips on telling them apart

April 2018—DCIS or LCIS? Making the distinction can be difficult in some cases. Stuart J. Schnitt, MD, in a session at CAP17 on ancillary testing in breast pathology, delineated the reasons and provided tips, including the role of E-cadherin immunostains to help in this distinction. The cells of DCIS typically show strong membrane staining for E-cadherin while the cells of LCIS are typically E-cadherin negative. But among the tips: If an in situ lesion is E-cadherin positive, it doesn’t automatically mean it’s ductal carcinoma in situ. As he demonstrated in several cases, the lesion could be lobular carcinoma in situ with aberrant E-cadherin immunostaining.

Turnover in phlebotomy: looking deeper than pay

April 2018—Laboratory managers struggling to reduce turnover among phlebotomists should look beyond the pay and examine their hiring and management practices and the dysfunction that could be creating walls between analytical and preanalytical staff. “It’s an enormous problem,” Dennis J. Ernst, MT(ASCP), NCPT(NCCT), director of the Center for Phlebotomy Education, says of phlebotomist turnover. “There’s no silver bullet because there are so many things that lead phlebotomists to give up hope where they work and in the profession. It’s critical that managers are tuned in to the needs of this specialized workforce because they’re varied and many.”

POC glucose: views on volume, critical care, ACOs

April 2018—Test volume, limitations on devices used in critical care, consolidation, and population health is what CAP TODAY asked about when it spoke in March with the makers of three bedside glucose testing systems. Their systems and those of two other companies are profiled on pages 44-49. “The customers are more aware than ever of the limitations that are in the package inserts from the glucose manufacturers,” says Corrine Fantz, PhD, director of medical and scientific affairs for point-of-care testing, Roche Diagnostics. But she and Kevin Peacock, clinical marketing manager, HemoCue America, say there is still confusion. Here is more of what they and others told senior editor Amy Carpenter Aquino.

In cervical disease dx, agreement rises with p16 IHC use

April 2018—In analyzing cervical tissue, adjunctive use of p16 IHC with H&E-stained slides improves accuracy and sensitivity, according to the results of the Cervical Tissue Adjunctive Analysis study presented by Thomas C. Wright Jr., MD, in a webinar hosted by CAP TODAY and made possible by an educational grant from Roche Diagnostics.

Newsbytes, 4/18

April 2018—Data-extraction system demonstrates potential for pathology laboratories: Just as parents instill in their children a desire to improve themselves, in part through interactions with others, some software developers are “teaching” their tools to interact and adjust accordingly.

Lung guideline goals: more tests, treatment

March 2018—Among the many never-ending chores that humans undertake—paying bills, filing taxes, flossing—writing medical guidelines can seem like an especially perpetual task. Just ask the architects of an updated document on molecular testing for lung cancer, issued by the CAP, the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, and the Association for Molecular Pathology.

Labs take stock of surprising flu season

March 2018—In a severe flu season that started early, laboratories faced unprecedented test volumes, used new testing platforms, and negotiated vendor supply shortages. When laboratory staff at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock began seeing a rising number of requests for respiratory tests, and five positive flu results, in September 2017, they suspected they were in for a record flu season, says Sherry Childress, BSMT(ASCP), technical chief, molecular diagnostics and immunology.

Puzzling out the positive shift in the final 14-day rule

March 2018—When the CMS’ new 14-day rule took effect Jan. 1, conditions for laboratories doing outpatient reference testing might have changed for the better. But for labs navigating the new billing regulations, some forecasters are predicting confused seas ahead.