Tools, Technologies and Training for Healthcare Laboratories

CLSI EP22: In Memorium

There is a tradition at year end to review and commemorate the passing of notables. The New York Times Magazine has its "The Lives They Lived" issue at the end of every year. In this spirit, and with more than a bit of mordant humor, we offer this obituary.

AACC 2009: More interest in quality, but not QC

Dr. Westgard recaps some of the most interesting discussions and announcements of the 2009 AACC/ASCLS/CSCLS meeting in Chicago.

Trends in Quality Management: Utilization and Outcomes

Re-engineering, out-sourcing, down-sizing, outcomes focus -- all the management fads have come to the healthcare laboratory with a vengeance. Dr. Westgard (with a little help from Dilbert) sorts out which approaches are valid and which are dangerous.

Future Directions in Quality Control

Total Laboratory Automation and POC devices are two trends in current diagnostic equipment. Dr. Westgard reviews the history of quality control, from manual methodsin the 1950s, to the current state of the art of laboratory fourth generation instrumentation, to the quality control systems in future instruments. Learn how automation and computerization will impact the future quality control practices - what will be done for us, and what we still have to do for ourselves.

The Myth of Medical Decision Limits

Medical Decision Limits are described as a "second set of limits set for control values ...meant to be a wider set of limits indicating the range of medically acceptable results." The idea is that these medical decision limits embody the medical usefulness requirement for a test and by drawing these limits on our control charts, we will detect medically significant errors. Using CLIA QC requirements and practical examples, Dr. Westgard evaluates these MDLs and reveals their true nature.