LIVING THE LAB LIFE
A BLOG FOR ASCLS REGION V
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.
For the second annual Lab Week Run, I decided to take a stroll around the Mississippi river in downtown Minneapolis. It is a scenic and popular area, one that I recommend a visit to for anyone visiting Minnesota.
I hope everyone has had a happy and positive Lab Week. It is important that we take this time to appreciate the valuable impact we have on patient care.
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.
It's that time of year again. The annual Clinical Laboratory Collaborative returns to Duluth, MN. The event will be held at the DECC, with rooms available for attendees at two hotels: The Suites Hotel and The Inn on Lake Superior. Book your room soon while rooms are still available.
The CLC is the premier continuing education event for laboratory professionals in Minnesota. The program is put together through the collaborative efforts of many different laboratory organizations active in Minnesota.
Registration is available for both half- and full-day attendance with reduced rates available to members of any of the participating organizations.
For information on the program in total for the event. Please see the document below.
Check out #IamASCLS Member Spotlight featuring ASCLS-MN member Samia Abdel-Kerim from Minneapolis, MN. She is a faculty member of one of the area MLT programs and an experienced MLS-generalist. Find out about what brough Samia to Medical Laboratory Science and what she loves about ASCLS.