Recent Articles

Influenza Update: Increased Detection H3N2

While still prevalent in 48 states, the influenza season has appeared to have peaked.  However, the report from CDC last week indicated that of the influenza detected, 60% was type H3N2.  This type influenza causes more hospitalizations and deaths, especially in the elderly.  As you can see from...

GENETIC TESTING IN PRIMARY CARE

With our ever expanding genetic knowledge and the increasing number of molecular tests available, coupled with the decreasing cost to obtain results, it is not surprising to see genetic tests offered in primary care practices.  Last year saw expansion of genetic test availability in several...

Proposed Changes to Proficiency Testing Regulations

On February 1, 2019, CMS and CDC published proposed rules to update the CLIA Proficiency Testing Regulations.  The PT Regulations had not been updated since first enacted in 1992. 

Don’t Become Too Comfortable…Influenza Season Is Not Over

Thus far this influenza season has been far less severe than the 2017-18 season.  Last year Influenza A subtype H3N2 was the most common sub type reported accounting for 84% of infections.  This season H1N1 is most prevalent accounting for approximately 65% of reported infections.  The influenza...

Proficiency Testing Providers for Regulated Analytes

Proficiency testing is laboratory testing of unknown samples provided by a CMS approved proficiency testing provider.  The CLIA regulations require proficiency testing to be performed on all regulated analytes. 

Choosing Wisely: ABIM Foundation Initiative

In 2014, the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation conducted a survey to determine physician views on the overuse of medical services in the US. Almost 75% of the responding physicians indicated that frequency of use of unnecessary tests and procedures is a significant problem. With 72%...

Influenza Season is Upon Us

Across the United States we saw a significant increase in the number of reported influenza cases during the last week of December.  Along with the increase of diagnosed cases there was a corresponding increase in the number of hospitalizations of patients with laboratory confirmed influenza from...

STD Rate at Record High in the U.S.

The CDC recently released data on numbers of infections of the three most prevalent STDs: Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis.  The data indicated approximately 2.3 million individuals contracted a sexually transmitted disease in 2018.  The CDC notes that the rates have been on the upswing since...

Newly Approved Treatment to Fight the Influenza Virus

With last year’s flu season being one of the worst in many years, it is timely that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved the first novel treatment for the flu in almost 20 years.  Having another tool to combat the virus is paramount. Which accounts for the FDA giving it...

Instrument Flags Should Never be Ignored

Recently we have encountered several laboratories in which the employees were not paying adequate attention and in some cases ignoring flags generated by hematology analyzers during testing.  The technological developments over the past thirty plus years have enabled guidelines to be programmed...