CMS Recognizes ASCP’s Patient-Centric Quality Registry The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) is pleased to announce that its National Pathology Quality Registry (NPQR) has been granted Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR) status for 2018 by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). With QCDR status, NPQR offers pathologists a way to meet 2018 requirements under CMS’s Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) so that they can not only avoid penalties, but potentially gain positive payment adjustments. “The ASCP NPQR is an institution-based registry that will allow pathologists and entire laboratory teams, as well as quality and IT managers, to participate in quality improvement initiatives and, now with QCDR approval, CMS quality reporting,” said Steven Kroft, MD, MASCP, chair of the National Pathology Quality Registry Steering Committee. “Being recognized by CMS is an important milestone for NPQR, but, importantly, it is only one aspect of the registry. What sets NPQR apart from other registries is that it also gives labs and pathologists the tools to initiate tangible quality improvement and make meaningful impact on patient care delivery.” NPQR, established by ASCP in 2016, offers a wide variety of meaningful, patient-centric measures—a subset of which is designated for MIPS reporting through the QCDR. The measures currently focus on the following topics, and additional topics will be added in the future: Monitoring appropriate utilization of laboratory testing Improving preanalytical processes Optimizing turnaround time and critical value reporting Assessing analytical and diagnostic accuracy “ASCP recognizes the heterogeneity in pathology practices and listened to our members’ feedback on how existing measures suited only a subset of pathologists,” said Ali Brown, MD, FASCP, medical director of NPQR. “With these challenges in mind, ASCP developed NPQR to have applicable measures for most labs, with topics suiting both anatomic and clinical pathology.” Currently, medical laboratories lack a robust method for sharing best practices and benchmarking performance to drive improvement. Through NPQR, labs have a tool for quality improvement science and the establishment of best practices. “With NPQR, instead of just giving pathologists a benchmark, we are incorporating ASCP’s vast expertise and educational materials to give pathologists and laboratories the tools to drive change,” Dr. Kroft said. NPQR aggregates data from both clinical and anatomic pathology lab information systems to provide regularly updated dashboards that drill down to patient-level details. Participants can then create and share reports with frontline staff, departments, practice managers, and hospital administrators, allowing pathologists and laboratory professionals to take a leading role in quality management at their institutions. “We encourage laboratories to join the NPQR,” said ASCP CEO E. Blair Holladay, PhD, MASCP, SCT(ASCP)CM. ”We are a profession focused on quality diagnostic results. Pathologists, working with laboratory professionals, created this registry to suit the needs of the laboratory. Through NPQR, ASCP aims to highlight the critical work of the laboratory in providing the best possible care to our patients.” Learn more about participating in NPQR at www.ascp.org/NPQR. Novartis, ASCP, and American Cancer Society Fight Cancer in Ethiopia and Tanzania ASCP and Partners for Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment in Africa are working with Novartis and the American Cancer Society (ACS) to devise a common approach to improve access to cancer treatment in Sub-Saharan Africa. Each partner brings unique expertise in cancer diagnosis and treatment. This complements the work the Clinton Health Access Initiative is doing to improve access to affordable, quality-approved oncology medicines in the region. In December, ASCP Chief Medical Officer Dan A. Milner, Jr., MD, MSc(Epi), FASCP, FASTMH, visited two hospital laboratories in Ethiopia and Tanzania, where ASCP is building healthcare capacity for immunohistochemistry (IHC) analysis. ASCP is focusing on improving access to diagnostic equipment, providing laboratory-wide training to increase access to therapies for IHC-related diagnosable cancer, and ensuring supply chain management for IHC reagents and supplies. This work is aligned with the health strategies of Ethiopia and Tanzania, which detail the need for IHC as part of diagnostic services, specifically to advance the fight against breast cancer. In Ethiopia, Dr. Milner visited Tikur Anbessa Teaching Hospital (Black Lion) in Addis Ababa—the only comprehensive cancer center in the country. Dr. Milner, Ms. Alpa Pandya, country manager of Ethiopia and Tanzania for ASCP’s Center for Global Health, and representatives of Novartis and ACS met with the head of the Ministry of Health cancer program and discussed the government’s plan to reactivate its IHC program and launch an ambitious breast cancer treatment expansion program for 12 additional hospitals. In Tanzania, Dr. Milner and Ms. Pandya were hosted by Dr. Edda Vahuhula and met with academics at the Ocean Road Cancer Institute (ORCI), the only specialty cancer center in the country. The delegation also met with the Institute’s medical head of laboratories and the technical head of oncology. ACS is working with oncologists at ORCI through the African Cancer Coalition project to adapt the National Comprehensive Cancer Network’s cancer treatment guidelines for Sub-Saharan Africa. ASCP Volunteer Cindy Johns Leaves Indelible Imprint on Medical Laboratory Profession Friend, colleague, leader, educator, mentor, visionary, and voice for quality patient care. Those words don’t begin to describe the full extent of ASCP Board Member Cindy Johns’ legacy in the medical laboratory profession, ASCP, and quality patient care. Ms. Johns, MSA, MASCP, MLS(ASCP)CMSHCM, who passed away in late December of metastatic breast cancer, has left an indelible imprint on all who knew her. “Cindy Johns was a champion for the laboratory medicine profession, a consummate professional, and a good friend to her family at ASCP,” said ASCP President James L. Wisecarver, MD, PhD, FASCP. “I am very appreciative of the time and energy she devoted to our Society. We will all miss her smile and laugh at our gatherings.” “She was 100 percent committed to her core values. All of us are staggeringly inspired by her,” said Melissa Upton, MD, FASCP, ASCP President-Elect. First diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999 at the age of 45, Cindy ultimately battled cancer six more times. As a certified laboratory professional by education and training, she understood the intricacies of the laboratory and knew what questions to ask her oncologist and physicians. Cindy was an inaugural member of the ASCP Patient Champions Advisory Board and served on that board until her passing. She received the first ASCP Patient Champions Award in September 2017, presented by ASCP CEO Blair Holladay, PhD, MASCP, SCT(ASCP)CM. This award recognizes someone who has gone above and beyond in his/her activities to empower and educate patients and increase awareness of the crucial role the laboratory plays in patient care through real-life stories. “Cindy never passed up an opportunity to teach us, and create new pathways and opportunities to advance our profession,” Dr. Holladay said. “She inspired so many of us to be brave, to dream no small dreams, and to always remember to put the patient first.” Starting her career as a bench tech, she worked in blood banking and then specialized in laboratory information systems. Throughout her career, Cindy was an active volunteer for ASCP and the laboratory profession, providing numerous continuing education programs on such topics as hematology, hemostasis, and patient-focused laboratory services. Battling advanced cancer during the 2017 Annual Meeting, she summoned her own courage and professionalism to help teach a course on LOINC coding and to speak about the value of the Patient Champions program. A woman of boundless energy, she played an instrumental role in the ASCP Board of Registry (BOR)—now the Board of Certification (BOC)—negotiations in merging with the National Credentialing Association. She served on the BOR Board of Governors (BOG) from 1999 to 2008, and as its chair from 2006 to 2007. “When Cindy was involved in those discussions, her genuine sincerity was evident. She knew it all came back to what was best for the patients and the laboratory team,” said Walter Oliveira, MASCP, MLS(ASCP)CMSI, a former member of the ASCP BOC BOG. She also served as the chief liaison to the BOC’s globalization committee as the BOC was focusing on expanding its reach around the world. The BOC launched its international certification credential in December 2005. “Cindy was dedicated to advancement of the profession. She believed in certification,” said Pat Tanabe, MPA, MLS(ASCP)CM, executive director of the ASCP BOC. For her service and leadership, she received the ASCP Distinguished Service Award in 2002, the ASCP Mastership Award in 2010, and the ASCP Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013. Dr. Upton was chair of the Commission on Continuing and Professional Development in 2008 when Cindy joined it. “One of the skills she brought was not just a broad knowledge of what it takes to give great patient care in the lab, but she also taught pathology residents,” she said. “She knew what was necessary to be a good laboratory professional and brought that really deep and broad understanding of education to the commission.” A woman of deep faith, even as she was fighting for her life, she would consistently express concern for others. “She brought to the Board of Directors all of these beautiful shells that she collected in Florida, and let you pick the ones that were your favorite. I will always treasure that,” said Lynnette Chakkaphak, MS, MT(ASCP), a member of the ASCP Board of Directors. In Cindy’s legacy, ASCP has created a memorial fund in her name, the Cindy Johns Patient Champions Memorial Fund, dedicated to promoting awareness and understanding of the laboratory to educate and empower patients and their caregivers. The Cindy Johns Patient Champions Memorial Fund will support Patient Champions through scholarships, advocacy, education, and materials that showcase the vital connection between patients and the medical laboratory. To watch a video about Cindy’s legacy and to give to the Cindy Johns Patient Champions Memorial Fund, visit www.ascp.org/patients. © American Society for Clinical Pathology, 2018. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Critical Values – Oxford University Press
Published: Apr 1, 2018
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