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Microbiology QA, measure for measure

August 2013—In the May 20, 2013 issue of the New Yorker, Google co-founder Sergey Brin is quoted as saying of Internet security: “In big corporations people don’t understand what security people do, for the most part, and no one pays attention to them unless something goes wrong. Frankly, a lot of companies aren’t that interested in security.”

Toolkit lets labs make the case for the right LIS, 8/13:1

In ancient Rome, the legions might gird for combat with a muscled cuirass, helmet, and greaves, and carry a pilum. But none of them ever had to confront a hospital system C-suite, with high-level executives whose titles start with “chief” deciding between a single, enterprisewide information system or a “best-of-breed” laboratory information system.

Checklists 2013: newborn screening and MALDI-TOF

August 2013—At CAP ’11, then president-elect Stanley Robboy, MD, sat at a table in a conference room. He didn’t know those seated with him but he and they started to chat. The conversation turned to Dr. Robboy’s goals for his upcoming presidential term, and a member from Saudi Arabia, Amal Saadallah, MD, PhD, proposed that newborn screening requirements be created for accreditation.

Test utilization: a united front against waste

July 2013—When it comes to laboratory test orders, the connection between bloodletting and financially draining an institution is more than metaphorical. But a wide range of techniques can help stem test overutilization, clinical laboratory experts have found; you don’t have to drive a stake through a vampire’s heart to stanch the flow.

Expressions follow SCOTUS gene ruling

July 2013—The U.S. Supreme Court last month handed down a landmark decision on a narrow issue with broad implications for molecular medicine: Can genes be patented? In ruling that as products of nature, genes did not meet the criteria for patent eligibility, the Court brought its collective wisdom to bear on an issue that has troubled physicians, ethicists, and patients for nearly 20 years and hindered innovators in academia and industry.

Next-gen arrives for next (prenatal) generation

July 2013—In his 25-year practice career, Texas obstetrician James Maher, MD, has performed several thousand amniocenteses, using a long needle to draw amniotic fluid from the uterus of higher-risk pregnant women to rule out certain fetal chromosomal abnormalities—trisomy 21, or Down syndrome, in particular. Even in good hands, the procedure can lead to complications, says Dr. Maher, who supervises residents at Texas Tech University.

Heart failure high-wire act

July 2013—After weeks of bewilderment, W. Frank Peacock, MD, finally solved the mystery of one of his so-called frequent fliers in the Emergency Department. At the time, Dr. Peacock was vice chair, Emergency Medicine, at the Cleveland Clinic. Every Monday morning, week after week, a local pastor would show up with symptoms of possible heart failure.

Sooner, smarter—new strategies against sepsis

July 2013—When it comes to fighting sepsis, the ingenuity of the laboratory is indispensable. At the front line of the fight are physicians, who largely rely on guidelines issued by the Surviving Sepsis Campaign. But where the SSC guidelines end, a critical phase of the fight begins.

Positive patient identification product guide, 7/13:20

Fingerprint and palm scanners, smartphones, Android-based and Apple-based handhelds, multi-use devices. CAP TODAY heard about those and more when it asked lab administrative directors and managers and a few companies about positive patient identification. They told us what they’re doing, what they’re hoping and aiming for, and what’s most in demand. Our questions and their answers follow. On pages 24–30 is our roundup of the positive patient ID, or PPID, market.

AMP v. Myriad Genetics: the end of the beginning

July 2013—The most remarkable fact about the June 13 decision of the Supreme Court in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, ___ U.S. ___ (2013), is that both sides are proclaiming victory. The physicians and geneticists who challenged efforts to enforce patents on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are elated that the Court has squarely held that “a naturally occurring DNA segment is a product of nature and not patent eligible merely because it has been isolated.”