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The Laboratory Report - Summer 2014

THE LABORATORY REPORT Summer 2014 Page 6 Trainee Research Spotlight Two of the Department’s trainees, Drs. Erik Salazar and Jaclyn Jerz, recently published their research in the Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine. These articles highlight the Department’s efforts to improve clinical laboratory services and patient Dr. Salazar’s paper is titled “Improving Positive Blood Culture Removal Time Significantly Decreases Total Processing Time” and was co-authored by several Department faculty and research staff. It outlines the Department’s efforts to reduce the time required to process blood cultures in the clinical microbiology laboratory and to notify physicians caring for patients with suspected systemic bacteremia. The research team determined that prior to their intervention, the average processing time for blood cultures was 38 minutes, and only 51.8% of the positive blood cultures were removed in less than 10 minutes. By holding three in-service meetings with the clinical microbiology staff, one for each shift, these numbers improved to 8 minutes for the processing time, and 84.5% of cultures were removed within 10 minutes. This study illustrates how a small, non-technical intervention can significantly enhance patient care. Dr. Eric Salazar is a second-year resident in the Department of Pathology and Genomic Medicine. He received his MD and PhD degrees from Weill Cornell Medical College in 2012. care. Eric Salazar, M.D., Ph.D. Dr. Jerz’s paper is titled “Detection of Malignancy in Body Fluids: A Comparison of the Hematology and Cytology Laboratories” and was co-authored by several clinicians from the Houston Methodist Hospital and The University of Texas Medical School at Houston. This study examined the ability of the hematology laboratory to detect malignancy in body fluid samples and explored potential avenues to improve this technique. Study results showed that pre-intervention analysis of body fluids only detected malignancy with 23% sensitivity. By providing additional educational sessions to the medical technologists, this number improved to 60% in subsequent months. The authors concluded that while the concentrated preparations used for cell counts in the hematology laboratory are not optimized to detect malignancy, providing concurrent cytologic examination and enhancing staff education greatly improved the rate at which malignancies are identified. Dr. Jaclyn Jerz is a third-year resident in the Department of Pathology and Genomic Medicine. She received her MD degree from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in 2011. Jaclyn Jerz, M.D. Members of the Department Recognized for Their Service Drs. David Alrahwan (Houston Methodist St. John) and Philip Cagle (Houston Methodist Hospital) were named in the H Texas Magazine’s Top Docs of 2014 list. Congratulations!


The Laboratory Report - Summer 2014
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