LIVING THE LAB LIFE
A BLOG FOR ASCLS REGION V
It is not too late, registration is still available for this year's Clinical Laboratory Collaborative. Don't miss out on all the continuing education events, the vendor fair, or any of the fun activities planned. Full- and half-day registration is available.
Don't miss out! We will see you there!
Today we kicked off the 2017 ASCLS Annual Meeting. It is 79 degrees and sunny here in San Diego, CA. The day started with an assortments of meeting, with everyone coming together at 10AM to give the membership an update of what has been going on at the national level over the last year.
For lunch, we broke up into our Region caucuses, led by Region V Director Pat Tille. Region V is very well-represented at the meeting this year, with attendees coming from Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. We even had the added benefit of having incoming national president Deb Rodahl and current national secretary/treasurer Cindy Johnson in the caucus.
After lunch, I had the please of attending a couple of great breakout sessions. The first was given by Susan Johnson of the Blood Centers of Wisconsin in which she discussed the utility of using molecular techniques for genotyping in patients who type serologically as weak D. As someone who works in a blood bank that has started to utilize genotyping which some of our prenatal patients, it was great to get a full explanation of why this is now recommended. The second talk that I went to was given by Tara Henning, PhD with the CDC and ASCLS-MN's own Paula Vagnone, who is a supervisor at the Minnesota Department of Health. In their talk, they discussed the recently established Antibiotic Resistance Laboratory Network (ARLN). The ARLN aims to provide additional infrastructure and support to clinical laboratories with the aim to help curb the spread of antibiotic resistance bugs. It was great to hear about such a comprehensive effort being made in the public health area to help laboratories and infection prevention teams address emerging resistant pathogens before they are able to spread throughout communities. Thank you to all who shared their expertise today.
The day wrapped up with a meet-and-great with the candidates for various national offices, further fundraising for SAY San Diego, and a silent auction for the New Professional New Member forum.
Now, off to happy hour!
Confused about how to log your continuing education credits? Allow me to explain.
First, click here to navigate to the ASCLS CE Organizer page.
The site has been updated in the last year, and I am reallly liking the updates.
This morning, we kicked off the day with a moving performance by the Pillsbury House Theatre in Minneapolis. Their performance, “Breaking Ice,” focused on discrimination and inclusion, both in and out of the workplace, and how we can open ourselves up to crucial conversations to address these issues. The performance was very moving, as was the discussion that followed. For a small group breakout session, the performers asked us to participate in an ice breaker exercise where we would present ourselves to each other with phrases that start with “I am from.” This prompt led to very personal responses (most of the people at my table were in tears at the end of the exercise). When we are open and honest about who where are and where we come from, we can really open the door to addressing the social issues that permeate through our society.
So where are you from?
The first breakout session I attended featured a panel of presenters from all walks of the laboratory profession (Industry, Technical Consulting, Education, Lab Administration, Public Health). Each speaker detailed the career path they took to get to where they are today. This was a great presentation to have for a room full of students (Thursday is student day, with over eighty students in attendance). It is very exciting to see all the opportunities available to laboratory professionals who are dedicated to a lifetime of learning.
Greeting from Duluth!
We kicked off the 2017 CLC with a keynote address by ASCLS Executive Vice President Jim Flanigan. Jim’s talk, titled “Disruptive Beliefs, Memes, Mission, and Myths of the Slimy Salesman” is a call to action for all laboratory professionals. As a group, we acknowledge that we do not receive that credit that we deserve for the life-saving care we provide. Additionally, we see, day in and day out, how many errors that occur in the ordering, collecting, and interpretation of laboratory testing. Medical errors like than can be costly. As many as 100,000 people die each year in the United States because of medical errors. Jim’s talk challenges laboratory professionals to be the salespeople of their trade, not only for our sake but for the sake of patient safety. In every encounter with other members of the healthcare team, we need to make the conversation about what we can do for them and for their patients. Patient lives depend on it.
The first breakout session that I attended was given by Dr. Qia Ding, MD, PhD from Ortho Diagnostics. Dr. Ding’s presentation focused on Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) and how current technologies and protocols fall short. Currently, diagnosing and staging of AKI depends on assessing serum creatinine levels and urine volume output. In many patients, this means that diagnosis (and therefore treatment) doesn’t happen until 48 hours after the event triggering the AKI. This has a major effective on patient outcomes, hospital expense, length of stay, readmission rates, etc. It is estimated that about half of all cases of AKI are either misdiagnosed, diagnosed too late, or missed all together. Dr. Ding presented to us a new test available through Ortho Diagnostics, the Nephrocheck, which can diagnose patients with AKI far more rapidly. This test recognized two urinary biomarkers, TIM-2 and IGFBP-7, associated with cellular stress in the renal tubular epithelial cells of the kidneys. A positive result indicates a patient has AKI. The test is supposed to be used within twelve hours of whatever event triggers the AKI (major surgery, nephrotoxic drugs, sepsis, circulatory shock, radiographic dyes). There is clearly an opportunity to influence better patient outcomes with more prompt diagnosis of AKI; I am very interested in seeing what more assay come out in the future to address this issue.
Registration is now open for the 2017 ASCLS-ND State Meeting.
For full program details, click here.
To register for the event online, click here. A mail-in registration form is available here.