An estimated 70 percent of all errors in diagnostic laboratory testing are thought to be due to preanalytical errors, such as preanalytical interference, where certain compounds or molecules in patient samples interfere with assays and affect results, as well as errors caused by blood collection tubes. In this issue, we’ve focused on bringing you expert insights into these interferences.
In our Blood feature, learn how even the simplest blood collection tube components can inadvertently affect assay results. “Communicating with phlebotomists and nursing personnel about correct blood draw technique is a crucial first step,” writes Michael Vera, BA, and Joe El-Khoury, PhD, DABCC, FACB, director of the Clinical Chemistry Laboratory at Yale-New Haven Health in our Hematology feature. Vera and El-Khoury outline new approaches to resolving three common types of interference—hemolysis, icterus, and lipemia—to improve the quality and reliability of lab results.
Moreover, turn to our Clinical Chemistry feature for strategies to mitigate biotin interference in laboratory tests, including how to educate health care providers and patients about avoiding biotin interference for those who take biotin supplements.
Despite recent developments in artificial intelligence and digital pathology, these new technologies have not been widely adopted in clinical labs. In a guest Ask the Expert feature, Rachel Muenz, managing editor of G2 Intelligence, speaks with Rajesh C. Dash, MD, a Duke Health pathologist and chair of the College of American Pathologists Artificial Intelligence Committee, about what pathologists and other clinical lab professionals can do to prepare for bringing these technologies into their labs.
Similarly, Today's Clinical Lab writer and editor Zahraa Chorghay, PhD, speaks with Jill Crist, senior product manager of scalable automation solutions at Sysmex America, about automating hematology workflows to help alleviate staff shortages and reduce turnaround times.
Interested in becoming a peer laboratory inspector? Darryl Elzie, PsyD, MHA, MT(ASCP), CQA(ASQ), outlines the dos and don’ts of conducting clinical lab inspections in our Compliance feature, including how to remain objective and apply standards to a lab you have never visited.
“The field of clinical laboratory science took a big step forward in 2018 when Brandy Gunsolus, DCLS, MLS(ASCP)CM, graduated from Rutgers School of Health Professions with her doctorate in clinical laboratory science,” writes Kathryn Golab, MLS(ASCP)CM, in our Careers feature. Golab details the growing need for DCLS graduates and the essential role they can play toward improving quality lab results and patient care.