CLSI Blog Articles

Read the latest articles about CLSI and laboratory standards in the official CLSI Blog. Browse our most recent blog articles below.

CLSI Celebrates Medical Laboratory Professionals Week

Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, an annual celebration of medical laboratory professionals and pathologists who play a vital role in health care and patient advocacy, takes place April 21-27, 2019. CLSI is one of 17 laboratory medicine organizations responsible for coordinating this high-profile celebration of your profession. Meet the professional organizations celebrating Medical Laboratory Professionals Week.

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The Importance of Laboratory Accreditation

An accredited laboratory inspires confidence in its customers. Laboratory accreditation is the internationally accepted framework for increasing test quality and reducing the frequency of laboratory errors. In order to pass accreditation, the laboratory must fulfill a set of requirements mandated by the accrediting body.

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This Week We Celebrate National Public Health Week

During the first week of April, the American Public Health Association (APHA) brings together communities across the United States to observe National Public Health Week (NPHW) as a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our nation. APHA creates new NPHW materials each year that can be used during and after NPHW to raise awareness about public health and prevention. You can visit the NPHW website for tools and tips and to learn how to get involved.

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Accurate Patient Identification

Clinicians rely on the laboratory to provide accurate and reliable test results in order to treat the patient appropriately. Accurate patient identification is the first critical step to providing the right health care treatment for every patient. The consequences of an identification error can significantly impact an individual’s future health. In laboratory medicine, strict adherence to patient identification and specimen labeling requirements is necessary to maintain the unequivocal link between the accurately identified patient and the specimen throughout the path-of-workflow.

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Using Proficiency Testing to Improve Medical Laboratory Quality

Proficiency testing (PT) is a valuable tool in the quality improvement process. PT provides one measure of objective evidence of laboratory competence to customers and regulatory and accreditation organizations. It serves as a unique source of information not obtainable by other methods. Current accreditation requirements include integration of PT into the laboratory’s quality improvement program.

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Manage Nonconforming Events in the Lab With a Quality Management System

Nonconforming events in the laboratory can be reduced by implementing an effective quality management system (QMS). A laboratory QMS is a systematic, integrated set of activities to establish and control the work processes from preanalytical through postanalytical processes, manage resources, conduct evaluations, and make continual improvements to ensure consistent quality results.1 All aspects of the laboratory operation need to be included in a QMS.

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Order of Blood Draw Tubes and Additives

Blood samples must be drawn by phlebotomists in a specific order to avoid cross-contamination of the sample by additives found in different collection tubes. Order of draw is the same for specimens collected by syringe, tube holder, or into tubes preevacuated at the time of collection.

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Chloride Sweat Testing for Cystic Fibrosis

Chloride sweat testing is used to help diagnose cystic fibrosis (CF), an inherited disorder that disrupts the normal function of epithelial cells found in the sweat glands and lining of passageways in the lungs, liver, pancreas, and digestive and reproductive systems. According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the sweat test is considered the gold standard for diagnosing cystic fibrosis. Sweat testing should be done at a CF Foundation-accredited care center.

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Patient Safety Through Process Management

The Joint Commission’s 2019 National Patient Safety Goals for laboratory services is a patient safety guideline that sets goals the laboratory must achieve to satisfy accreditation requirements.

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The Cefazolin Inoculum Effect for MSSA

Infections due to methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) continue to be a significant source of morbidity and mortality. While antistaphylococcal penicillins, such as nafcillin, have been the mainstay of therapy for MSSA, the use of cefazolin has grown increasingly popular. Indeed, recent data from observational clinical studies suggest that cefazolin is as efficacious as nafcillin, with less toxicity, has a more favorable dosing schedule, and possibly improves survival. Thus, cefazolin has become first line therapy for the treatment of MSSA infections.

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