Every so often reality delivers a vicious refute to the myth of continuous forward progress. While we often assume (and hope) that the arc of the universe bends towards justice, progress, unity, and peace, it is never safe to take for granted that civilizations will always choose to take a step forward. There is always a very real possibility that countries and societies will choose instead to take a step backward.
The Theranos Scandal is an object lesson for the laboratory industry. It's not only an example of what NOT to do, but also an example of what we risk when we don't demand proof of quality, or what we might suffer if we don't prove the quality we're delivering. We don't want to be Theranosed. And we certainly don't want to be Theranosing others...
At the 17th Quality in the Spotlight Conference, Dr. Linda Thienpont was honored for her many contributions to laboratory quality.
After a hiatus of 2 years, the 2016 Quality in the Spotlight conference in Antwerp reconvened at a critical time. Some of the contentious issues confronting the Milan meeting were given broader discussion and a hopeful consensus appears to be forming.
Sometimes it seems the Ratings, Rankings, and Awards are legion in healthcare. The current system of Top 50, HealthGrades, Best Hospitals seem a bit like the Grammys: there's a category for everyone, and everyone goes home a winner. But the recent proliferation of metrics and awards are not only confusing, they are now impacting reimbursement. The new metrics being implemented by payers and the Affordable Healthcare Act threaten to impose a set of unproven or dubious benchmarks on hospitals. Which raises the question: is the laboratory safe from these metrics? and why don't we see more ranking of laboratories, methods, and instruments?