There Was Something
For Everyone at Our
October 4, 2006 Meeting!

The fall meeting for 2006 was held at the Doubletree Hotel in Alsip, Illinois on Wednesday, October 4 from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM.  The meeting was attended by 48 registered healthcare professionals and representatives from: BD, Biosite, Dade, Hemocue, Hemosense, Instrumentation Laboratory, Inverness-Biostar, Lifescan, Nanogen, Nova, MAS, Quidel, Radiometer, RALS, RNA, Roche and Telcor.

  • The meeting commenced with opening remarks by Joanne McEldowney, RN.  Members of the core group include:  Wendy Denk, Ingalls Hospital, Harvey, IL; Joanne McEldowney, RN, Univ of Illinois – Chicago, Chicago, IL; Gil Salas, Univ of Illinois – Chicago, Chicago, IL.  Sandra Curan from the Univ of Illinois group assisted in registration.

  • The session started with a presentation by Kathleen Steffens from the JCAHO.  Her topic, “Joint Commission Survey Process and Tracer Methodology”, provided an overview of the accreditation process, Priority Focus Areas for the Laboratory, Tracer Methodology, Measure of Success (MOS) and Evidence of Standards Compliance (ESC).  Priority Focus Areas of the Laboratory includes analytical procedures, communication, credentialed practitioners, equipment use, infection control, information management, organizational structure, orientation and training, patient safety, physical environment, quality improvement activities, rights and ethics and staffing.   Data for determining the priority focus area may be derived from proficiency testing, the electronic application, office of quality management and previous recommendations.   When you think tracer methodology, think total testing processes from the beginning through to the end.  If there are no cases available for the tracer, for example no transfusion reaction, the tracer becomes a “what if” scenario. The tracer will span for a full 24 months prior to the survey for each specialty surveyed and proficiency testing for the last six events will be reviewed.

  •  POC areas that can be surveyed includes: operating rooms (tissue use, blood warmers), pharmacy, respiratory therapy, nursing units, cardiac cath labs, dialysis, ambulance services, mobile health units and radiology. Her tip is to do self evaluations and work on the resolution for the areas found not compliant, involve all staff, utilize the JCAHO website as well as JCAHO FAQs.  Starting in 2007, there will be a 6 onth window before due date rather than the current 45 days. Post Survey activities include the MOS and the ESC.  The MOS documentation requires data collected over 4 months and is quantifiable, a corrective ESC requires an actual plan, not a we will do or to be developed type plan.

  • A 2 hour vendor fair followed the JCAHO presentation and was well received by both the vendors and the healthcare professionals.  Out thanks to the 19 vendors who participated and provided us with valuable information.

  • Following lunch, Rosalyn Chavez from Precision Dynamics presented “Positive Patient ID-Automating the Process from Bar Coding to RFID”.  She described the types of bar codes and suggested changing the orientation of the bar code to improve the reading of the bar code.  There are 2 common methods of printing, laser and thermal, and she discussed the problems for the laser and advantages for the thermal printers. Since the National Patient Safety standards include positive patient ID, those who are not using bar code labels were encouraged to implement bar code labeling.

  • Our final speaker, George Dzikes, PhD was from the IDPH. The original speaker, M. Masood, MD, was unable to attend so Dr. Dzikes presented a similar topic on Influenza A Pandemic.  He said the Influenza A can do the most harm and has the greatest pandemic influence.  From the Clinical perspective, the incubation is 1 – 2 days, has an abrupt onset and the convalescence is at least 1 – 2 weeks if not longer.  There are different vaccines available but it takes up to a year to make the vaccine and as he put it, the influenza virus is sloppy, promiscuous and indiscriminate. There have been 10 influenza pandemics in the last 300 years, with one being in 1918 (Pan Flu) that resulted in 20 – 100 million deaths worldwide.  The Swine Flu hit in 1976, in 1997 was the Bird Flu and in 2003, the H5N1 strain (another avian influence strain).  A new human influenza strain with pandemic influence could be introduced worldwide via migratory birds or international travel and preparedness and response plans should be prepared for such an event.

  • As has become the custom, there was a mini raffle in which three lucky attendees walked away with a gift.  Congratulations to Bill Glaves ($50 from Nanogen), Christina Faigal (Biscotti and cup from Hemosense) and Debbie Peracco (Basket of goodies from Dade)!

  • The results of the POCT survey gave us several suggestions for future topics (such as competency training, unannounced surveys a year later, process of performing correlation studies, QI monitors to name a few) and we thank the 26 who completed the survey.  We also thank the 15 vendors who told us who could provide a speaker (or be a speaker), sponsor a speaker or provide a lunch.  Without our vendors supporting us, we would need to charge more so thank you again.

  • The next meeting will be April 4, 2007 at the Doubletree Hotel in Alsip.

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