Friday, April 15, 2016

A week to honor medical laboratory professionals

A PRO AT WORK: Caitlin Finn, medical technologist

in the Center for Integrated Diagnostics, working with a pipette in the lab

Medical Laboratory Professionals Week – an annual celebration of laboratory professionals and pathologists who play a vital role in every aspect of health care – runs from April 24-30. It is a time to honor the more than 300,000 medical laboratory professionals around the country, who perform and interpret more than 10 billion laboratory tests in the U.S. every year.

“Our unwavering goal has always been excellence in service to patients – accurate diagnosis, communicated effectively and efficiently – and the highest standards in research and training,” says David Louis, MD, chief of Pathology Service. “We have much to celebrate every day.”

Since staff often work behind the scenes, few people know about the critical testing they perform every day, says Louis. Laboratory information is a key driver of evidence-based clinical care, which informs medical decision-making, and laboratory data is said to account for around 70 percent of information stored in any given electronic medical record.

At the MGH, the Pathology Service includes more than 700 employees and builds upon 120 years of experience. Their annual volume exceeds 10 million clinical laboratory tests, 80,000 surgical specimens, 60,000 cytopathology specimens and 35,000 blood transfusions. In 2015, the Pathology Blood Donor Center provided 7 percent of red cells, 45 percent of platelets and 72 percent of fresh frozen plasma transfused at the hospital. All blood products collected are used by patients at the MGH, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Shriners Hospital for Children.

Read more articles from the 04/15/16 Hotline issue.

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