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2014 Awards

POCC of the Year

Najwa Adlan, from King Faisal Hospital in Saudi Arabia More >

Lifetime Achievement

Peggy Mann, from UTMB Galveston, TX

More >

Outstanding Contributions

Dr. Martha Lyon, Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon  More >


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Treating Patients with Ebola Virus Infection

in the U.S.: Lessons Learned
IDWeek, October 2014, Bruce Ribner, MD, MPH, Emory Univ. Hosp., Atlanta, GA

At the recently held IDWeek, Dr. Bruce Ribner spoke on caring for Ebola patients in the US. Dr. Ribner led the team at Emory University that cared for two patients with Ebola virus disease (EVD) in August. In light of the recent Ebola cases in Dallas and Spain he agreed that a summary could be provided to assist ID specialists in their ongoing preparedness efforts.


Planning for the care of patients This involves the entire institution, and needs many sections to coordinate their work. EMS services were an important coordination point for the transport of the 2 patients to Emory. On the medical staff, many types of expertise were needed for clinical management: ID, critical care, anesthesiology and several other subspecialties. Nursing, environmental management, facilities, security and media relations were all intensively involved ahead of time so that expected roles were defined. Even so, there were times when questions arose after the patients arrived.

For a summary of this talk, click here. For basic information about Ebola, click here or on the image to the right.


For more details on Ebola click here to visit the CDC website or many of the other healthcare sites with articles on the Ebola situation.

Key Steps for POCT in Physician Offices
Edwina Szelag, MHM, BSMT (ASCP)

You’ve been asked to take a look at a physician’s office practice after a recent merger. Do physician office laboratories (POL) need to follow the same CLIA standards as traditional clinical laboratories and point-of-care testing programs?

Answer: All clinical laboratory testing is subject to CLIA regulations, and the type of CLIA certificate for the POL should be considered along with the test menu to be offered, devices that will be used, and staff performing testing. There are several CLIA certificates. For example, if the POL will be performing only waived testing, then a CLIA Certificate of Waiver is appropriate. If the POL will be performing wet mounts, fern tests, and other microscopy, the Certificate of Provider Performed Microscopy Procedures is needed.


For more Q & A's on this subject, click here.

Risk Management Steps Up Labs’ QC Game Under IQCP
By Anne Paxton, CAP Today, September 2014

Industrial risk management. It may not seem all that sexy as a concept, but in the field of laboratory quality control, risk management has become about as buzzworthy as is possible. One of the key reasons: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has embraced risk management as the foundation of a new option for meeting CLIA quality control standards called IQCP, or Individualized Quality Control Plan.

A voluntary QC option under CLIA, IQCP aims to give labs greater flexibility in achieving QC compliance by customizing lab QC plans to each unique testing environment via the use of risk-management strategies. Employing electronic/integrated controls, IQCP intends to adapt to future technological advances and strengthen manufacturer-laboratory partnerships.

“Many assays appear to be okay when we run our QC,” says Alison Woodworth, PhD, director of esoteric chemistry, associate director of clinical chemistry, and assistant professor in the Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “But when we do more in-depth risk analyses, they may not be okay.” With IQCP, “labs will have a choice now. They can use a one-size-fits-all approach of running two levels of external QC material once a day, the bare minimum under CLIA requirements, or they can do a risk-assessment evaluation to better determine how their assays are performing and how much QC they should run.”

Read more >

FDA Clears Nova StatStrip for Use in Hospital CCUs


The Nova StatStrip Meter is the first FDA clearance of a device specifically indicated for use in all types of hospital patients, including critically ill patients.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared a new indication for the Nova StatStrip Glucose Hospital Meter System, extending its use to critically ill patients who have been hospitalized. This is the first blood glucose monitoring system (BGMS) cleared by FDA for use in these patients.

Blood glucose monitoring systems, also called blood glucose meters, are handheld devices that measure the amount of sugar (glucose) in blood by analyzing a small drop of blood that is placed on a test strip. After inserting the test strip into the device, the system displays a glucose level reading. 


Blood glucose measurements are used in the management of many patients in the hospital, including patients requiring insulin to manage blood sugar, and in the assessment of blood glucose levels in newborn babies.


More on the FDA website


Read the Nova Press Release

Optimizing Point-of-Care PT/INR Testing
Marcia L. Zucker, PhD, Clinical Laboratory News, September, 2014

Coagulation testing, especially the global coagulation test prothrombin time (PT), is not exactly an ideal laboratory test. I say this because PT does not evaluate a well-defined analyte with results reflected as a concentration of that analyte. Rather, PT assesses the interaction of more than a dozen different enzymes within a blood sample, and a PT test result reflects a clotting time measured at a different end point for each instrument used.

In addition, the reagent for the PT test, thromboplastin, is not standardized. The original thromboplastin reagents were crude preparations from multiple tissue types from several different species. Today, thromboplastins may consist of recombinant rabbit or human brain protein complexed with phospholipids. There is limited standardization, achieved through use of the international normalized ratio (INR), for patients on long-term oral anticoagulant therapy with vitamin K antagonists such as warfarin and coumarin. More >

Quality Practices & POCT
Defining quality in POCT is offering more than just quick results
By Charles K. Cooper, MD, September 4, 2014, Advance for Administrators of the Lab, Issue 9

Point-Of-Care Testing
The world of laboratory medicine has changed considerably in the last decade. Specifically, the need for hospitals to improve capacity utilization and efficiency as more patients seek care has propelled clinical laboratories into a bold new journey in point-of-care testing (POCT). As new efforts bring advanced testing to point-of-care (POC) locations, there must also be new criteria for evaluating POC tests. To effectively meet the goal of POCT-which is to offer high-quality testing at primary care locations to streamline patient management-POC diagnostics need to meet quality standards across a broader range of categories. Beyond providing accurate and fast results, the quality of these tests must be equally determined by evaluating their scalability, ease-of-use, cost ­structure, and effectiveness in improving healthcare system efficiency. POCT Success Factors more >

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Last updated: 10/21/2014 Questions or corrections: © 2014  BACK TO TOP