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Clinical Laboratory

A clinical laboratory is a laboratory where tests are done on clinical specimens in order to get information about the health of a patient as pertaining to the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease.

Laboratory medicine is generally divided into two sections, each of which being subdivided into multiple units. These two sections are:

  • Anatomic pathology: Units included here are histopathology, cytopathology, and electron microscopy. Other disciplines pertaining to this section include anatomy, physiology, histology, pathology, and pathophysiology.
  • Clinical pathology, which includes:
    • Clinical Microbiology: This encompasses five different sciences. These include bacteriology, virology, parasitology, immunology, and mycology.
    • Clinical Chemistry: Units under this section include instrumental analysis of blood components, enzymology, toxicology and endocrinology.
    • Hematology: This section consists of automated and manual analysis of blood cells.
    • Genetics is also studied along with a subspecialty known as cytogenetics.
    • Reproductive biology: Semen analysis, Sperm bank and assisted reproductive technology.

Credibility of medical laboratories is paramount to the health and safety of the patients relying on the testing services provided by these labs. The international standard in use today for the accreditation of medical laboratories is ISO 15189.

Accreditation is done by the Joint Commission, College of American Pathologists, AAB (American Association of Bioanalysts), and other state and federal agencies. CLIA 88, the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments, also dictate testing and personnel.

In addition, many clinical laboratories have adopted quality management programs such as Six Sigma and Lean quality to improve clinical quality, reduce turnaround time, cut costs, and boost productivity. Lean and Six Sigma are both process improvement methodologies. At a very basic level, Lean is about speed and efficiency, while Six Sigma is about precision and accuracy, leading to data-driven decisions. Lean and Six Sigma methods are finding numerous applications in anatomic pathology laboratories and pathology group practices.

Academic, Commercial Collaboration for Testing

CEO SUMMARY: In several important ways, this collaboration involving an academic clinical laboratory and a commercial company has paid big dividends, not just for the two partners, but also the parent university that oversaw the project. The two partners developed a SARS-CoV-2 test, t…

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SARS-CoV-2 Variant Sequencing Creates New Opportunities for Labs

This is an excerpt of a 2,964-word article in the February 8, 2021 issue of  THE DARK REPORT (TDR). The full article is available to members of The Dark Intelligence Group. CEO SUMMARY: Variants of the COVID-19 virus are appearing across the world. Recent data show the same variants wil…

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Variant Sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 Creates Opportunities for Labs

CEO SUMMARY: Variants of the COVID-19 virus are appearing across the world. Recent data show the same variants will infect people in several different countries. Here in the United States, interest is growing in having clinical laboratories sequence specimens from patients who test pos…

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Proscia Lands Major Deals as Digital Pathology Demand Grows

EVEN AS THE WORLDWIDE COVID-19 PANDEMIC DERAILED SOME INDUSTRIES, it gave a major boost to digital pathology. That has meant an expanding market for Proscia, a seven-year-old provider of digital and computational pathology solutions. Established in 2014, Proscia recently won …

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hc1, Visiun, and Viewics: Analytics Market Evolves

CEO SUMMARY: To understand any development in the marketplace, it is best to follow the money. That Roche, Quest Diagnostics, and LabCorp spent money either to purchase or partner with a lab analytics company in the past 36 months indicates that these enterprises believe acquiring or …

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CAP Loses CLIA Accreditation Clients to Joint Commission

This is an excerpt of a 1,790-word article in the January 19, 2021 issue of  THE DARK REPORT (TDR). The full article is available to members of The Dark Intelligence Group. CEO SUMMARY: Over the past 18 months, several prominent national health systems decided to shift their CLIA …

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2021 Opens with a Major Story … and It’s Not COVID!

On the pages that follow, you will learn about a major story in the clinical laboratory…

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CAP Loses Accreditation Clients to Joint Commission

CEO SUMMARY: Over the past 18 months, several prominent national health systems decided to shift their CLIA laboratory accreditation services away from the College of American Pathologists and to The Joint Commission. These shifts from one accrediting body to another will involve hu…

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Why Are Health Systems Changing CLIA Accreditors?

CEO SUMMARY: It is uncommon for a major health system to switch its CLIA lab accreditation business from one accrediting body to another. Yet, just in the past 18 months, that decision was made by the Veterans Administration, Ascension Health, and Providence Health. This is an impor…

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Understanding Differences Between 2 CLIA Accreditors

MAJOR CHANGES ARE HAPPENING IN THE COMPETITIVE MARKET for CLIA accreditation of hospital laboratories. Some health systems representing hundreds of hospitals have shifted from using the College of American Pathologists (CAP) to using The Joint Commission (TJC) to meet the accreditation …

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