Full and rapid automation upgrade with no interruption to service

Pathology in Practice speaks with Portsmouth Pathology Service’s Nathan Hunt and Beckman Coulter’s Tom Coulson about how Beckman smoothed the transition from a mature automation system to a modern Lean automation configuration to eliminate bottlenecks for consistent workflow.

Serology and its role in the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis

A combination of three laboratory tests can help to identify rheumatoid arthritis patients sooner and enable clinicians to start tailored treatment promptly. Jason Cunningham provides an update and looks to the future.

Lean laboratories: the prerequisite to survive rising pressure?

Warnings that pathology services are unable to cope with demand are now national headlines. As pressure mounts, Dr Gene Elliott asks if decades-old car manufacturing ideas could now help laboratories support better patient outcomes, lower costs and meet hugely rising demand.

Improved techniques and technology for cellular and molecular pathology

Contributors from Georgia, the UK, USA and Sweden made last year’s online Pathology 2016 event, organised by EuroSciCon, a truly international annual occasion.

A FIT approach: improving sample integrity for faecal haemoglobin testing

Faecal immunochemical testing is the latest advance in the screening programme designed to identify patient with colorectal cancer, but success relies on the quality of the sample, as Matthew Davies explains.

Antibiotic prescribing targeted with GAS test at Children’s Hospital

Antimicrobial resistance is a major problem in 21st-century medicine, the unwarranted treatment of infant pharyngitis being just one contributing factor. This has now been addressed using a lateral-flow immunochromatographic cassette test.

Acquire, learn, share, repeat: an Innovation Academy update

Recent advances in technology and data science mean that there is more data about people, their habits and their health than ever before, but clinical utility cannot be fully realised without successful integration and analysis.

Point-of-care testing: an expanding repertoire in accident and emergency

Patience Kapuya shares the results of a study of A&E clinician use of various POCT devices, comparability of results with the central laboratory, and the value of additional tests to speed decision-making in the emergency situation.

Reducing methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus with chlorine dioxide

There is growing evidence to support the efficacy of disinfection with chlorine dioxide in the fight against healthcare-associated infections. One trust has achieved significant reductions in MRSA rates, resulting in major cost savings by implementing this disinfecting agent in its environmental cleaning process. Suzanne Callander and Louise Frampton report.

Measurand: the first step to measurement uncertainty evaluation

In this first of a series of articles on individual aspects of the assessment of uncertainty of measurement, Stephen MacDonald begins with consideration of the measurand.

Clostridium difficile: value of the GDH, toxin and tcdB testing algorithm

Sarah Copsey-Mawer evaluates testing for glutamate dehydrogenase, toxin A/B and the tcdB gene, compared to the gold standards of toxigenic culture and cell cytotoxin neutralisation assay.

Current pathology in practice: a brief look in the literature

A small sample of research interest on Clostridium difficile infection, colorectal cancer and Mohs micrographic practice to be found in the current literature.

UN3373 sample packaging regulations: understanding your responsibilities

There are strict regulations governing how biological samples are packaged for mailing and it is vital that all staff understand the legislation and how to be fully compliant. If not, there could be serious consequences.

Support for the UK’s fastest service redesign to deliver modernisation efficiencies

Through the rapid, smooth and seamless implementation of new automated equipment and systems, Beckman Coulter supported a South West London Pathology redesign across three large hospital sites. This article discusses how this was achieved and some of the efficiencies delivered.

Optimising workflow and patient treatment in the Mohs clinic in Cardiff

Since 1992, the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, has been pioneering Mohs micrographic surgery, providing optimal patient care and rapid skin cancer treatment. Central to fast treatment time is cryosectioning, which, in Cardiff, is provided by the Thermo Scientific Cryostar NX70.

T helper 17 cells: roles in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis

Functionally polarised CD4-positive T-cell responses based on their profile of cytokine secretion are seen in many chronic autoimmune inflammatory diseases. The focus in this review is the disease-triggering role of a T-helper subset of lymphocytes.

Testing for colorectal cancer: a focus on FIT technology

Quantitative faecal immunochemical testing looks set to reassure patients and clinicians concerned about colorectal cancer. Reducing referrals, colonoscopy investigations and overall waiting times, FIT enables GPs to manage patients confidently in primary care.

Microbiology transport systems: not all are created equal

With the increasing trend towards centralisation of pathology services, it is important to consider carefully the type of swab and transport medium used when there is the potential for significant delay to sample processing.

Coeliac disease: from a refractory condition to fertility and cancer

The autoimmune coeliac disease results from ingestion of gluten in genetically predisposed individuals. The inflammatory damage caused to the mucosal lining of the small intestine gives rise to malabsorption and associated nutrient deficiency, and has been linked to a wide range of other medical conditions.

Viscosity-based detection: addressing HIL interference and sample integrity

Interference due to haemolysis, icterus and lipaemia is a significant issue in automated coagulation testing, but technology from Stago now provides confidence in laboratory results in such cases.