More Negative Press for the Laboratory
A little while ago I wrote a blog in which I referred to a great, balanced, intelligent article written about the medical laboratory and printed in The US News and World Report. That article was remarkable by its rarity. I asked my readers to respond directly to the writer, thanking her for a positive article. Many of you contacted the journalist by email and Twitter, much to her delight.
This morning, another article crossed my desk. This one is a hatchet job written by a journalist for the Journal Sentinel. It is an indictment of the laboratory written using sources who have been harmed from inaccurate results generated by laboratories. Everyone from accreditors to MLSs/MLTs are assigned blame. Reference is made to shoddy habits like the use of expired reagents and mixing up samples.
To read this article it seems like there is no standardization, there is no quality assurance, and every lab test has the potential of leaving ruined lives in its wake.
Some of the "experts" who commented for the article are laboratorians and I would like to think they were misquoted or their words were taken out of context. It's disheartening to think fellow laboratorians would allow such a biased and unbalanced piece to see the light of day.
There is a lot of buzz on social media about this article: mostly hurt feelings and righteous indignation. But as I pointed out on Facebook, commiserating among ourselves is not going to educate the journalist or the public; and will not change anything.
I strongly suggest you read the article and weigh in here. Feel as indignant as you want to, but , more importantly, respond by contacting the journalist ( reached at email@example.com or (414) 224-2071) and her editor.