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Press Start: Lead an Empowered Life as a Clinical Laboratorian

All In a Day's Work at ASCLS 2011

Published July 27, 2011 10:30 PM by Glen McDaniel

It might have been sweltering hot outside, but deep inside the Omni hotel and Georgia World Congress Center, laboratorians attending ASCLS 2011 were comfortable, calm and collected as they were treated to variety of offerings,

The day started  at 8:00 a.m. with a ceremony honoring industry sponsors whose support make much of the conference possible-and financially viable. In the Grand Ballroom of the Omni Hotel the audience quickly swelled to over 400 despite the early hour. Mistress of Ceremony Barbara Brown, in her inimitable manner, revved up the crowd and got them ready for the keynote address.

Delivered in a point-counterpoint fashion  the exchange was between pathologist Michael Laposata and internist James Meisel. Speaking as physician colleagues with different expertise and needs, they laid out their individual perspective of what clinicians want from the laboratory and vice versa.

The mutual conclusion was that patient care would be better served if the laboratory played more of a consultative, advisory role (like others on the healthcare team) as opposed to just passively generating data based on "whatever the doctor ordered." In some cases, admitted Meisel, the doctor is not sure what lab test to order, has no idea what he has ordered, or how to use the result provided.

A lively Q and A followed in which the audience expressed their views on the expertise already available in the lab as well as possibilities for a doctoral level laboratorian-as Dr. Laposata himself had suggested earlier.

My next task of the day was as a  judge in the poster competition . There were some truly interesting subjects covered from a variety of perspectives. Especially encouraging were the possibility of incorporating some of the findings into clinical practice affecting patient outcomes.

Scientific sessions included management topics like "How to set goals and focus work for a more productive laboratory." In addition there were a variety of clinical offerings such as Use of anti-Xa assay to dose heparin, Serious transfusion reactions and the ever popular Healthcare Forum in which the healthcare landscape is examined by an expert panel, focusing on legislation and regulations affecting the laboratory.

The fun is still going on as camaraderie, fun and libations are shared at the President's Reception. And, of course, there is lots more planned for tomorrow.


The opening keynote address of the annual ASCLS meeting in Atlanta was delivered by two physicians, Dr.

August 13, 2011 7:16 PM

I am so sorry I missed the meeting this year. As meetings become more expensive and we have to use vacation time it makes it hard to get to conferences. I like to buy the CDs but your article gives  a real flavor of what's going on at the meetings.  It's nice to read a summary of the highlights each day. Thanks for the opportunity.

Germaica Thomas August 2, 2011 4:16 PM
Chicago IL

I am so sorry I could not make this meeting because of work and budget. I googled some stuff about the meeting but thanks for keeping us posted with a daily account. I feel like we are getting a flavor of what's going on. I hope everyone is having fun and  learning a lot.

Jonas Roseau MT July 28, 2011 7:52 PM
Seattle WA

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