Take a bow, medical laboratory professionals!

April 1, 2002

April 14-20 is set aside as National Medical Laboratory Week. According to the American Society for Clinical Pathology, National Medical Laboratory Week is a time of celebration for the approximately 265,000 medical laboratory professionals and 15,000 board certified pathologists who perform and interpret medical laboratory tests. The theme this year is Laboratory Professionals: Quality Care through Quality Testing.

To tip our hats to you, our readers, each April MLO sponsors an Outstanding Laboratorian Contest. We solicited nominations for people who are making big contributions to the field of laboratory medicine, and this month we present our two winners. Warmest congratulations to Elaine Gunter and Jackie Stiles, whose stories you will read on page 16.

Ever wish there was fast and easy way to find out more about the products you see in MLOs pages? Were offering you just that, beginning in this issue. Through our innovative RS Leads program, you will be given a URL at the bottom of each of the products mentioned in our Industry Update and Product Roundup sections. You can use this web address as a gateway to go directly to the product youre interested in.

Our April cover story, Phlebotomy: On the bleeding edge, is by one of MLOs righthand men, Dennis Ernst, a member of our Editorial Advisory Board. Dennis is well-known as a phlebotomy expert, serving as founder and director of the Center for Phlebotomy Education in Ramsey, IN, and writing and speaking on phlebotomy issues in the U.S. and internationally. His article covers hot topics like safety needles, conversions to plastic tubes, the order of draw, phlebotomy certification, tube-holder reuse, and phlebotomy-related lawsuits. Dennis says, Advances in technology, concerns about safety, and newly enacted legislation are thrusting blood collection procedures, and those who perform them, into a white-hot spotlight.

What do you want from your reference laboratory? by Kathleen LeBeau of the Washington State Department of Health and Sharon Granade and Steven Steindel of the CDC, will be of interest to any of you who use reference labs. Using a network of clinical labs in the Pacific Northwest, this group studied how physician office labs select reference labs and explored problems these labs encounter with send-out testing. We compared reference laboratory utilization patterns in POLs performing waived/PPMP testing with those performing moderate/high complexity testing, LaBeau says. We explored a wide range of issues, with a focus on access to services, urban and rural differences, and the effects of managed care.

Our Medical Lab 2002 series continues this month with Anne Pontius interview with Dick
Aderman, senior vice president and general manager of Roche Laboratory Systems. Dont forget that our interviewees will also participate in a panel discussion at the CLMA meeting in New Orleans. The panel discussion, co-sponsored by MLO and CLMA, will be Breakout Session I on Thursday, June 27, from 3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. We hope youll make plans to attend while youre in New Orleans.

Be sure you dont miss Suzanne Nobles Product Roundup. This month she takes a close look at slide makers and stainers.

Remember that we love to hear from you. Write me a quick e-mail, and let me hear your views about our magazine. Your opinions and ideas are always welcome.

Celia Stevens
[email protected]

© 2002 Nelson Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.