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IBM Watson Health Announces 100 Top Hospitals
Formerly the Truven Health Analytics 100 Top Hospitals, 2018 Study Finds Top U.S. Hospitals Improve Outcomes at Lower Cost and Higher Profit Margins than Peers

IBM Watson Health™ today published its 100 Top Hospitals® annual study identifying top–performing hospitals in the U.S. based on overall organizational performance. Formerly known as the Truven Health Analytics® 100 Top Hospitals, this study spotlights the best–performing hospitals in the U.S. based on a balanced scorecard of publicly available clinical, operational, and patient satisfaction metrics and data. It has been conducted annually since 1993.

Overall, the Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals® study found that the top-performing hospitals in the country achieved better risk-adjusted outcomes while maintaining both a lower average cost per beneficiary and higher profit margin than non-winning peer group hospitals. Did your hospital make the list?

MLO’s 2018 Annual Salary Survey of

Laboratory Professionals

How Much does a Point-of-Care Coordinator Earn?

By: MLO Staff, February 2018

The United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that employment in “Healthcare Occupations” is projected to grow 18 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Healthcare occupations will add about 2.4 million new jobs to the workforce. In fact, healthcare is projected to add more jobs than any of the other occupational groups. This projected growth is mainly due to an aging population which leads to greater demand for healthcare services. Read more >

Diabetes Roundup
By MLO Staff, February 22, 2018

Diabetes is not so much being cured as it is being surrounded. Researchers are coming at this common disorder from a number of different perspectives, and some of their discoveries are finding their way, or soon might find their way, into clinical practice.


MLO provides a roundup of some recent scientific approaches regarding type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), as well as an exciting recent FDA approval of a needle-free glucose testing device that may make life easier for people with diabetes. Read more >

CLP Tech Guide: Lab and POC Glucose Monitors
February 8, 2018

The Clinical Lab Products Tech Guide features lab and point-of-care glucose monitors from such companies as Arkray USA, Nova Biomedical, and Oak Tree Health. The guide is available as a free download.

Flu Map Shows How the Biggest Influenza Outbreak in Years Spread Across the U.S.
TIME Health, By JAMIE DUCHARME and DAVID JOHNSON January 19, 2018

With months left to go in the 2018 flu season, the U.S. has already hit an unfortunate benchmark, as shown on the flu map below: For the first time in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 13 years of influenza monitoring, every state in the continental U.S. is seeing “widespread” virus activity.

The U.S. is experiencing such an active flu season that the CDC held a special briefing on the topic last week, explaining that there’s an uptick in both confirmed cases of the disease and hospitalizations related to it this year. The flu is so widespread, in fact, that the agency has declared it an epidemic, and urged those who have not been vaccinated to seek out the flu shot. But how did this year’s flu season get so bad? Read more >

Blood Glucose Test Strips
Another Shared Diabetic Supply Harboring Bacterial Contamination
Clinical Laboratory News, By Sharon Geaghan, MD, January 2018

When you or a family member are admitted to the hospital, you expect that the room will be cleaned and disinfected thoroughly. You do not expect to find half-used tissue paper boxes or leftover bandages from the previous patient. To the contrary, patients expect that hospitals will take all necessary precautions to avoid spreading disease, including disposing of patients’ medications when they are discharged from a facility.

Perhaps the only exception to the current practice of single-use, single-patient hospital supplies is blood glucose test strips. Hospitals and other institutions often procure blood glucose test strips in 25- or 50-count vials and bring them from patient to patient and room to room for testing purposes. Testing sites range from acute care hospitals, outpatient clinics, skilled nursing facilities and long term care facilities to prisons, shelters, surgery centers, schools, and camps. Read more >

Devices, Decisions: Glucose in the Critically ill
CAP Today, January 2018, by Anne Ford


Using point-of-care glucose meters in critically ill patients can feel like tiptoeing through a regulatory minefield. Perhaps your preferred meter hasn’t been cleared by the FDA for use in this population. Or maybe you’re not sure which assay performance requirements should be regulating the performance of your meters. Or perhaps you’re still trying to define “critically ill.”


Recently published studies have aimed to clear some of those mines by evaluating the accuracy of glucose meter results in ICU and non-ICU settings and by also assessing meter performance in a clinical context rather than a strictly analytical manner. Those studies, the four options labs have, and a look at the POC policy in place at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center were spotlighted at last year’s AACC annual meeting in a session, “The Burden of Proof for Point-of-Care Glucose Monitoring in Critically Ill Patients,” presented by James H. Nichols, PhD; Alison Woodworth, PhD; and Steven Cotten, PhD.

While nursing tends to think that capillary samples are easier than phlebotomy, Dr. Nichols said, variations in operator technique mean there is ample room for error. And getting an adequate reflection of the patient’s physiology isn’t a given. What if the patient is...

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