September 26, 2016 Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News

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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 the source of errors in about 20% of these papers. Modern Healthcare said that these errors happened “when the symbols used to denote genes in scientific literature are misinterpreted as dates or other numbers. For example, the gene Septin 2 is usually referred to as SEPT2. Excel automatically assumes the person inputting the number means the date of Sept. 2 and stores that in the field.”

MORE ON: Genetic Testing Errors

Researchers accessed the supplementary files containing the list of genes involved in the research for each of the 3,600 studies. This autocorrect feature of Excel cannot be turned off. It means that—to avoid such errors—a genetic testing lab entering this type of data must go back and change every field separately. Researchers also noted that it was about 10 years ago when this problem with gene data in Excel was first noticed.


Apparently Safeway, the national grocery story chain, likes Sonora Quest Laboratories much better than Theranos. On August, 26, the two companies announced that the existing Safeway-Sonora Quest relationship would add SQL patient service centers to six more Safeway grocery stores in Arizona. Sonora Quest has operated PSCs in two Phoenix-area Safeway stores since November 2015. The relationship with Sonora Quest came about just weeks after The Wall Street Journal disclosed in October 2015, that Theranos had failed to deliver lab testing services to Safeway after the grocery chain had spent $350 million to build PSCs and lab testing rooms in 800 Safeway stories during 2012-13.


    • In order to go fishing, Bill Pesci retired as Executive Director of Lab Services at Baptist Health in Jacksonville, Florida this summer. He now owns his own fishing charter business in Merritt Island, Fla., called Blind Dog Charters. During his career, Pesci worked with Sonic Healthcare USA, Centura Health, Carolinas Healthcare System, SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories, Dynacare, and Clinical Pathology Laboratories.

dark_daily_logoHave you caught the latest e-briefings from DARK Daily? If so, then you’d know that …
…systems biology will play a role in clinical care at Providence Health & Services in the Pacific Northwest. Leroy Hood, PhD, will join Providence in the role of Senior Vice President and Chief Science Officer.

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That’s all the insider intelligence for this report.
Look for the next briefing on Monday, October 17, 2016.

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