AACC’s upcoming webinar “Pre-Analytical Variation: Strategies for Detection and Prevention” will explain current guidelines and activities for managing and reducing pre-analytical variation, so that laboratories can focus on increasing efficiency, reducing errors, cutting costs, and producing more accurate and timely results. The hour-long session, which takes place April 23 at 2 p.m. Eastern time, will be ably led by Joe El-Khoury, PhD, DABCC, FACB, assistant professor of laboratory medicine at Yale University School of Medicine and assistant director of the clinical chemistry laboratory at Yale-New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut.

“During this webinar, I will provide the participants with an overview of pre-analytical variation and its impact on laboratory medicine, then focus on specific strategies that the clinical laboratory can use to help detect and prevent its occurrence,” El-Khoury told CLN Stat. “While most examples used will target the clinical chemistry laboratory, the general concepts apply to other areas of laboratory medicine as well.”

Laboratorians who attend this session will walk away with a number of skills to help sort through the complexities of pre-analytical variation, El-Khoury added. “I expect participants to be able to identify common sources of pre-analytical variation, describe how they can detect and prevent pre-analytical variation in their own labs, and identify important literature in the field for future reference,” he explained.

In an interview with CLN Stat, El-Khoury elaborated on some of the actions labs can take to mitigate pre-analytical variation. “Taking advantage of our laboratory information systems, we can detect pre-analytical variation by setting up rules to flag suspicious results, to reject specimens that exceed our serum indices cutoffs, and/or to perform delta checks,” he said. “On the other hand, pre-analytical variation is a system-wide issue. Its prevention requires that laboratorians engage the clinical care provider teams to ensure that proper procedures are followed or better systems implemented when ordering tests, preparing the patient, and collecting, transporting and storing the specimens for laboratory analysis.”

The webinar is $179 for members to attend and $225 for non-members.