College of American Pathologists
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November 2005

Cleveland Clinic moves to paperless hematology with Sysmex system

Sysmex America recently implemented its new hematology Expert Line automation system at the Cleveland (Ohio) Clinic.

The Cleveland Clinic is using Sysmex’s HST hematology automation system Expert Line, which includes four XE-2100 analyzers, two SP-1000i slidemaker/stainers, and the Molis WAM rules engine middleware system. Molis WAM consolidates the review of instrument data, scattergrams, and graphs onto a single screen. Complex rules are predefined to handle auto-verification as well as repeats and reruns. The interface between Molis WAM and the Cleveland Clinic’s Misys laboratory information system automatically sends auto-verified results and reflex orders from Molis WAM to the LIS.

“Our medical technologists are no longer walking around with paper—they’re walking around with slides,” says Frederick Van Lente, PhD, vice chairman of clinical pathology at the Cleveland Clinic. “We achieved 90 percent of our goals by installing a single automation line that handles both stat and routine testing and by implementing a rules-based middleware system that provides a near paperless workflow. Our manual review rates have diminished significantly, and we deliver completed results as a package to our Misys laboratory information system with no further technologist interaction.”

GE Healthcare to acquire IDX Systems

GE Healthcare, a unit of Gen eral Electric Co., and IDXSystems have entered into a definitive merger agreement for GE to acquire IDX.

Together IDXand GE Healthcare will offer comprehensive suites of clinical, imaging, and administrative information systems.
The transaction, which is subject to IDX shareholder and regulatory approvals and other customary conditions, is expected to close by early 2006.

Broadband connectivity made easy

Now you can plug your PC into an electrical outlet, and voilà—instant Internet via a high-speed broadband connection. At least that’s the claim of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., which recently introduced a chip that the company says will do away with cables, or even the hassles of installing a wireless network. The new technology uses electric wiring in the home to relay data and electricity.

While similar technology has been available in the United States for a number of years, only Matsushita’s product provides high-speed broadband connectivity, or BPL (broadband over power lines). Matsushita claims its product is up to 10 times faster than other technologies. Users simply attach a special device made by Matsushita to an electrical socket and then plug in their computer, television, or other device to get an instant broadband connection.

Matsushita, which markets such brands as Panasonic, Quasar, Technics, and JVC, plans to eventually offer refrigerators, televisions, and other products with the chip already installed. A refrigerator connected to the Internet, for example, could allow users to remotely check whether they need milk or other food.
Future applications for home patient monitoring are promising.

Atlas Medical integrates lab order entry and results reporting with EMRs

Atlas Medical’s new LabEMR product integrates the Atlas LabWorks lab order entry and results reporting system with electronic medical records.

LabEMR can be deployed as a stand-alone system, with other third-party order-entry solutions, or as part of an overall LabWorks deployment.

Promega distributing forensic system software for Forensic Science Service

FSS-i3 expert system software, developed by the United Kingdom-based Forensic Science Service, is now available in the United States with full service and support.

Forensic Science Service named Promega Corp. exclusive U.S. distributor of the software with responsibility for related service and training. The software automates the manual data-analysis process and helps users interpret DNA studies for forensic identification.

“The software will provide our forensic customers an innovative tool for data analysis and will help scientists save time on data review,” says Mary Linton, director of genetic identity at Promega.

National Cancer Institute licenses software for de-identification

The National Cancer Institute has licensed DE-ID Data’s DE-ID software as a de-identification component of some of the software applications developed in the tissue banks and pathology workspace of the NCI-sponsored cancer biomedical informatics grid, or caBIG.

The NCI will use DE-ID internally and sublicense the software to 16 NCI-designated cancer centers nationwide participating in caBIG as part of a program to advance the development of the caBIG network.

DE-ID can operate as a stand-alone program or be integrated into data grids and clinical information systems. “DE-ID plays a critical role in the development of multi-institution data-sharing systems, serving as a HIPAA-compliance and security filter for personal health information in medical records and reports,” says Steven Merahn, MD, chief medical officer at DE-ID Data Corp. “DE-ID saves time, reduces risk, and increases productivity over manual de-identification of any pattern recognition or statistical software.”

The NCI’s license for the DE-ID software is for one year with the option to renew.

SPSS unveils new version of statistical software

Predictive analytics software provider SPSS Inc. has unveiled SPSS 14.0, an enhanced version of its flagship SPSS statistical software package.

SPSS 14.0 provides:

  • a variety of data-management features, including the ability to open multiple data sets within a single SPSS session.
  • enhanced reporting capabilities. The new Chart Builder interface allows users to drag thumbnail- sized pictures of chart and element types to a canvas to preview and create charts.
  • the SPSS Data Validation add-on module, which streamlines the data-validation process, eliminates labor-intensive manual checks, and reaches more accurate conclusions.
  • easier and more powerful forecasting with improvements to SPSS Trends. Users can automatically determine which model best fits their time-series and independent variables. Users can also forecast hundreds of time-series models at once rather than one series at a time.
  • a new programmability extension that allows third-party programming languages to control the flow of syntax jobs based on variable attributes, procedure output, and error codes.


Comp Pro Med recently secured a contract with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to deploy its Polytech laboratory information system in 125 HIV/AIDS testing centers throughout Ethiopia. The contract calls for similar deployment in 14 other African countries.

Wyndgate Technologies, a division of Global Med Technologies, has signed a contract with ARUP Laboratories, a national reference laboratory owned by the University of Utah, for its SafeTrace donor management system and SafeTrace Tx advanced transfusion management system.

TheraDoc has contracted to install its expert clinical decision-support software at Jewish Hospital, Louisville, Ky. TheraDoc will integrate its software with the hospital’s information systems to allow real-time monitoring of electronic medical records and automated delivery of actionable patient information and therapeutic recommendations.

Westcliff Medical Laboratories, headquartered in Santa Ana, Calif., has gone live with Xifin’s accounts receivable management system.

Information Data Management has signed a contract for its Prelude donor room management system with Community Blood Center/Community Tissue Services, Dayton, Ohio, and Blood Systems, a nonprofit blood services provider whose community blood centers, United Blood Services and Blood Centers of the Pacific, serve patients in more than 500 hospitals in 18 states.

Dr. Aller is director of bioterrorism preparedness and response for Los Angeles County Public Health Acute Communicable Diseases. He can be reached at Hal Weiner is president of Weiner Consult ing Services, LLC, Florence, Ore. He can be reached at hal@