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HealthGrades Names America's
Best Hospitals for 2019

By HealthLeaders Media, February 2019

Healthgrades released its annual list Tuesday of "America's Best Hospitals," using clinical outcomes to identify the top 5% of hospitals nationwide.In years past, Healthgrades released two separate awards, one for the top 250 hospitals in clinical excellence and the other for the the top 50 and 100 hospitals. But this year is the first time the two awards have been consolidated into a single list.

"Consumers have many options for care, so when hospitals prove their long-term commitment to the patient and to achieving high-quality clinical outcomes, it sets their system apart in a sea of choices," Healthgrades Chief Medical Officer Brad Bowman said.

To see the top 50 hospitals for 2019, as identified by Healthgrades and grouped by state,
click here >

Complimentary Training Support for
Urinalysis and Diabetes

Siemens Healthineers is pleased to announce the availability of complimentary training support tools
for our point-of-care chronic disease management portfolio. Listed below are the resources available
to you. These online options provide you with easy access to in-service product training, forms, and procedures for your staff.

For the CLINITEK Advantus® Urine Chemistry Analyzer, CLINITEK Status® family of analyzers,
DCA Vantage® Analyzer and Xprecia Stride™ Coagulation Analyzer, we offer the following:

Sign up for Remote Video Training: Receive telephone or video training from a medical technologist. To schedule your complimentary training session, email or call 1 (866) 748-7463 to speak with a training specialist.

Individualized, Competency-based Education: Click here to register for personalized product training modules and assessment tools.

In-service Training tools: Click here to conduct in-house training events for your staff and access product-specific training and support documents to maintain your audit-readiness.

Navigating the Quandaries of Coagulation Testing
CAP TODAY January 2019, by Anne Paxton

Naming the things about coagulation testing that most perplex clinicians isn’t easy for Michael Laposata, MD, PhD. But there’s a good reason for that: He finds confusion to be pervasive. New drugs with untoward effects on traditional coagulation tests, revamped clinical guidelines, and assays that can be difficult to interpret have been among the more recent contributors to clinicians’ bewilderment. Dr. Laposata, however, sees a more basic problem: “All of coagulation testing is confusing for the average physician in all specialties.”

It’s been that way for some time, says Dr. Laposata, chairman of the pathology department at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston—and he should know. He’s been a faculty member at different institutions since 1985, but even earlier, on his first encounter with clinicians as a resident, he saw there was a knowledge gap. “I realized that the doctors on the floor didn’t know how to interpret even the simplest coag test result—even the brightest doctors. To me, that was a shock.” He found they needed to know not only which test to order but also what the results meant and what the recommended next steps would be. Read more >

Hemoglobin A1c Testing and Diabetes Management
By: Jessica Pawlak, Michael Sweatt, Catherine Cahill, Ralph Ito, December 21, 2018, MLO

The Diabetes Research Institute Foundation has estimated a 50 percent increase in the number of people living with diabetes mellitus in the United States over the past decade. With more than 400 million people living with and managing diabetes worldwide, the ability to accurately diagnose and track patient management is a growing need. The diagnosis of diabetes mellitus uses a combination of measurements: fasting serum glucose levels, presentation of symptoms, two-hour plasma glucose levels during a glucose tolerance test, and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels.2 Current patient management includes diet, exercise, medication, daily monitoring of blood glucose, and HbA1c monitoring.

Mayo Clinic Laboratories emphasizes the value of controlling glucose levels to prevent long-term complications such as retinopathy, neuropathy, and cardiovascular disease. However, solely measuring and monitoring blood glucose levels has some limitations as the test only measures glucose levels at the time of testing and it relies on the patient to consistently test their levels at home, using a point-of-care device. To address these limitations and provide a broader indication of long-term glycemic control, HbA1c testing is used. It is typically performed in a laboratory setting and the test indicates the patient’s average levels of blood glucose over the past 8 to 12 weeks. The NGSP, originally called the National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Program, supports the American Diabetes Association’s recommendations that patients who are meeting glycemic goals be tested for HbA1c twice a year, while patients not meeting glycemic goals or patients with changes to therapies be tested every three months. The American Diabetes Association sets a normal patient at < 5.7 percent, prediabetes patients at ≥ 5.7-6.5 percent, and diabetic patients at ≥ 6.5 percent HbA1c. Read more >

Rapid PCR Rules as Labs ready Flu Arsenal
December 2018, CAP Today, Anne Paxton

With the memory of the 2017–2018 “high-severity” influenza season fresh in mind—49 million cases, 960,000 hospitalizations, a marginally effective vaccine, 79,000 deaths—clinical laboratories have been bracing for the customary annual surge in emergency room, outpatient clinic, and physician office influenza test orders. Although flu admissions have been rising somewhat, it is too soon to know how the season will play out, but laboratories are hoping for a season closer to average.

Avoiding a repeat of last year’s travails—lengthy turnaround times, supply shortages, and the need to triage patients for testing—is a must, many laboratory directors say. “We had difficulty keeping up with last year’s demand. It was extremely time-consuming,” says Mary Kay O’Connor, national laboratory director at Summit Health Management, the management arm of the Summit Medical Group, an 800-provider practice on the East Coast. Read more >

The Power of Internal Audits and Site Inspections for Improving Point-of-Care Testing
By Vikram Palamalai, PhD, November 2018, Clinical Laboratory News

At MetroHealth, a county-wide healthcare system based in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, the volume and complexity of our point-of-care testing (POCT) have increased rapidly. In the past, we had a decentralized POCT system in which individual testing centers held independent CLIA licenses.

While this was a reasonable strategy when POCT was available only at a few sites, the mushrooming dissemination of this modality led to a situation in which our POCT coordinators could provide only initial training and guidance with technical issues but were not involved in overseeing individual testing areas.

Though qualified medical staff were designated as directors, oversight was lacking at some sites. The limitations of this decentralized system came into sharp focus during an accreditation visit that found significant shortcomings, primarily due to the fragmented nature of the POCT program. Read more >

Improve Point-of-Care Glucose Measurements with Staff Outreach
By Uyen B Chu, PhD and Tiffany N Heady, PhD, Medical Lab Management, October 2018

Bedside glucose testing using strip technologies constitutes the highest test volume in most hospital-based point-of-care testing (POCT) programs. A 2010 study estimated that in health care settings, 51 percent of POCT involves bedside glucose meters using strip technologies. However, since the 2014 published warnings from the US FDA and CMS (both since retracted) on the potential erroneous results produced by glucose meters in critically ill patient populations, managing the off-label use of bedside glucose testing presents a significant challenge for hospital POCT programs.

Issues Exacerbated in Critically Ill
Originally designed as an over-the-counter product for managing glucose levels in diabetic patients, glucose meters are now used on virtually every hospital patient regardless of medical condition or the limitations specified in the manufacturer’s package insert. Glucose meters were initially... Read more >

The Pros and Cons of Point-of-Care Testing

versus Laboratory Testing
By Lisa-Jean Clifford, MLO

Point-of-care testing (POCT) is used to refer to any patient testing that is done at, or near, the actual location of the patient.


But how does software enable these testing capabilities, and are the results comparably applicable to the results in the lab?

Read more >

Click here for more stories in our Article Archives...


Last updated: 11/09/2018 Questions or corrections: © 2016  BACK TO TOP