CEO SUMMARY: As health networks and hospitals consider outsourcing their lab outreach programs, the lab team at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (D-H) offers lessons about the value of retaining outreach. D-H is now in the eighth year of a sustained expansion of its laboratory outreach business. It has combined its lab outreach strategy with a proven
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Clinical pathology is a medical specialty that is concerned with the diagnosis of disease based on the laboratory analysis of bodily fluids, such as blood, urine, and tissue homogenates or extracts using the tools of chemistry, microbiology, hematology and molecular pathology. This specialty requires a medical residency.
Clinical pathologists often direct all of the special divisions of the laboratory, which may include the blood bank, clinical chemistry and biology, toxicology, hematology, immunology and serology, and microbiology. Clinical pathology also involves maintenance of laboratory information systems, research, and quality control.
According to the American Association of Medical Colleges, “The practice of pathology is most often conducted in community hospitals or in academic medical centers, where patient care, diagnostic services, and research go hand in hand. Creation of new knowledge is the lifeblood of pathology and many academic pathologists devote significant time in their career to research.”
The world’s largest professional membership organization for clinical pathologists and laboratory professionals, the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), says, “Pathologists are problem-solvers, fascinated by the process of disease and eager to unlock medical mysteries, like AIDS and diabetes, using the tools of laboratory medicine and its sophisticated instruments and methods. Pathologists make it possible to apply scientific advances to improve the accuracy and efficiency of medical diagnosis and treatment.”
Becoming a pathologist entails one of the lengthiest education and training tracks of all physicians. Requirements include four years of undergraduate study, plus four years of medical school, plus a minimum of four to five years of post-graduate training in pathology residency. The annual salary for clinical pathologists ranges from $183,000 to $360,000.
The American Board of Pathology certifies clinical pathologists, and recognizes the following secondary specialties of clinical pathology:
- Chemical pathology, also called clinical chemistry
- Blood banking / transfusion medicine
- Clinical microbiology
- Molecular genetics pathology
Tools of clinical pathology include macroscopic examination, microscopes, microscopical examination, analyzers, centrifuges and cultures.
The ASCP has more than 100,000 members worldwide, and “provides excellence in education, certification and advocacy on behalf of patients, pathologists and laboratory professionals across the globe.”
Ireland is dealing with a cervical cancer screening scandal that reaches back to laboratories in the United States. In recent months, the Irish public has learned that more than 200 women wrongly got negative Pap test results over a multi-year period. Many of these women did not learn of the erroneous test results for years after
CEO SUMMARY: For medical directors and pathologists interested in improving their labs’ compliance with CLIA regulations, a report from federal and state inspectors of an inspection of the pathology lab at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center offers insights into what issues caught the inspectors’ attention. During their visit in February, the government lab inspectors
IN THE FIRST BROAD EXPANSION OF ITS pilot decision-support program for clinical lab testing in Florida, UnitedHealthcare (UHC) will add genetic and molecular tests, drug tests, and pathology procedures, among other assays starting in two months.
On March 1, UHC will expand its laboratory benefit management program in Florida beyond the initial 80 routine anatomical and
CEO SUMMARY: In what may be a first for the clinical lab industry, the American Medical Association and the American Hospital Association joined with 20 other healthcare associations to ask CMS Administrator Seema Verma to address the problems with the CMS proposal involving Medicare Part B fees. Specifically, the associations asked Verma to delay implementing
CEO SUMMARY: At the University of Michigan Medical Center, the Department of Pathology is learning new ways to add value that include face-to-face meetings with patients as part of UMMC’s patient- and family-centered care initiative. One lesson learned is that patients appreciate the opportunity to get a better understanding of the results from both anatomic
ANOTHER ACADEMIC MEDICAL CENTER decided to cash in on the value of its outreach lab. On Jan. 10, Laboratory Corporation of America announced it would acquire the lab outreach business of Mount Sinai Health System of New York City.
Terms of the transaction and purchase price were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close by
Molecular and genetic testing laboratories that use the Microsoft Excel software program for some of their homegrown informatics may be at risk of lab testing errors due to an auto-correct quirk in the Exel software. Modern Healthcare reported on how researchers in Australia looked at 3,600 genetics papers. They determined that use of Microsoft Excel was
CEO SUMMARY: It’s now official. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is the first children’s hospital to earn accreditation to ISO 15189 under the College of American Pathologists. What is more interesting, however, is how lab leadership used the quality management system of ISO 15189 to help lab staff to raise the quality of lab services.
CEO SUMMARY: Two years ago, the rate of hemolysis in blood drawn in the Cleveland Clinic’s Emergency Department was about nine times higher than the ASCP recommended rate of 2%. With a two-year cooperative agreement and funding from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the ED and clinical lab staff developed a quality