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For now, first still last in primary HPV testing

October 2015—Not long after the FDA approved a primary HPV screening algorithm for women age 25 and older, in April 2014, things began to stir on the Western front—specifically, in Bellingham, Wash., where Northwest Pathology is based. “We started offering it pretty much right after the FDA approved it,” says Ryan Fortna, MD, PhD, director of molecular pathology at the regional, independent anatomic pathology group.

At the AACC Show 2015

September 2015—This year’s meeting of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry saw soaring temperatures in the host city of Atlanta and a lofty number of attendees. Nearly 18,000 laboratory professionals took part in the five-day extravaganza, which featured hundreds of educational sessions and poster presentations, along with 720 exhibitors that filled the expo floor. A selection of company news released at the meeting is included in this special section.

Delta checks as safety net: how used, how useful?

September 2015—There was a time when Michael L. Talbert, MD, didn’t spend much time thinking about delta checks in his laboratory. “I would periodically look at them, but I didn’t put a whole lot of thought into ranges or into which analytes were most efficient or effective,” says Dr. Talbert, who is chair of pathology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and chief of service and medical director of pathology and laboratory services at OU Medical System, Oklahoma City.

In vivo microscopy checklist ready when labs are

September 2015—Why issue accreditation requirements for a technology before it’s seen widespread adoption? For the same reason you close the barn door before the horse has wandered out. At least that’s the view of Maria M. Shevchuk, MD, who, as chair of the CAP’s In Vivo Microscopy Committee, helped develop the new in vivo microscopy section of the Laboratory Accreditation Program’s 2015 anatomic pathology checklist.

Unusual transplant-linked viral infections: ‘always be aware’

September 2015—Emerging and re-emerging viruses are well and alive, says Sherif Zaki, MD, PhD, chief of the Infectious Diseases Pathology Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At the Clinical Virology Symposium in April, he spoke on viral etiology in unexpected deaths, presenting a list of outbreaks of unexplained illnesses in which his branch took part in the past two decades and which turned out to be caused by viruses.

Trials show no benefit from fresher red cells

September 2015—Whether transfusion recipients are better off receiving fresher red blood cells has probably been the most pressing and controversial question in blood banking in the past several years. So much so that enormous randomized, prospective trials involving patients in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, and Africa have been comparing outcomes from RBC units of different duration in a variety of patient subpopulations.

PT failures: steps to preventing a cease testing

September 2015—When the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 were implemented in the early 1990s, a number of significant changes to proficiency testing, or PT, were required. For the 83 tests or analytes (and microbiology subspecialties) defined as CLIA regulated, the law imposed requirements on both PT providers and laboratories.

Integrating AP and radiology, inch by inch

September 2015—Two major specialties serve all of health care as the foundation for diagnosis. Now efforts to align pathology and radiology again appear to be picking up steam. As payment shifts to so-called value-based care and as medical record systems may challenge successful test interpretation, many experts seek a clear integration of these two specialties.

Full-court collaboration in transition to IQCP

September 2015—With the CLIA Individualized Quality Control Plan process geared to unseat the familiar Equivalent Quality Control process on Jan. 1, there seems to be wide agreement that microbiology laboratories will have the biggest adjustment to make to comply with CLIA QC requirements, despite the IQCP being voluntary.

What’s new in next-gen sequencing checklist requirements

August 2015—The first CAP accreditation checklist requirements specific to next-generation sequencing were published only three years ago. “In 2012, those 18 accreditation requirements were basically all new language that the College’s Next-Generation Sequencing Project Team developed and submitted for review,” says project team chair Karl Voelkerding, MD, of the University of Utah Department of Pathology and ARUP Laboratories.

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