What’s Hot in Johns Hopkins Pathology?

I always look forward to Lab Week – especially our Lab Week Special Lecture which this year will be held Thursday, April 28, at 2:00 p.m. in Hurd Hall.

This year it was difficult to highlight one area of the Department when so many good things are happening, so we chose five topics instead:

  • HemoSafe in Transfusion Medicine – Gwen Howell
  • Microwave Tissue Processors in Surgical Pathology – Deb Duckworth
  • FX Blood Culture System – Nicole Kwiatkowski
  • POCT Blood Glucose – Leandra Soto
  • SOFT LIS Implementation – Greg Rex

Yet we only scratched the surface with these projects. We are about to embark on areas of automation across the entire Department. The Chemists have begun development on an 11-instrument automated line that will at some point do 120 different assays. Hematology will eventually have an automated line with four cell counters, two slide maker / stainers, and a storage facility. Surgical Pathology will be implementing an automated H&E stainer that provides a one-touch staining through coverslipping process. Transfusion Medicine will be expanding the Galileo menu to include antigen testing. HATS has a new Donor Program to support Sickle Cell Patients. They also look forward to a fleet of new apheresis equipment that will be more efficient and mobile. Immunology is about to automate measles, mumps, and syphilis testing – yes, no more rocking!

The Core Laboratory, Transfusion Medicine, and Cytology are putting the final planning touches on their new space in the New Clinical Building. They are also planning processes for backfill expansion by Surgical Pathology, Microbiology, HATS, and Flow Cytometry. The Department will clearly have a new footprint two years from today…

Information technology is about to explode (in a good way) across the Department. CareFusion, the handheld barcode patient/specimen identification system is rolling out across the Institution. On November 3rd , SCC Soft will be implemented in Microbiology, Core, Flow Cytometry, and Immunology. Transfusion Medicine and HATS are in the final stages of selecting a new computer system. Surgical Pathology is modifying PDS to improve existing workflow.

Our affiliated sites continue to grow, as well. Bayview has expanded its outpatient population through the new 301 Building. They, too, are rolling out the same POCT glucose testing across the hospital. Howard County General Hospital just moved into a beautiful new Laboratory (with windows) and implemented new chemistry analyzers. Suburban Hospital has begun a year of planning. They hope to have both new coagulation and chemistry automation within 18 months. Sibley will be placing new cell counters and coagulation instruments, identifying a new AP computer system, and evaluating new POCT glucose technology. We look forward to meeting and working with All Children’s Hospital in Saint Petersburg, Florida. Finally, Outreach will expand into Bowie, Bethesda, and Sibley Memorial Hospital – our first D.C. site.

As I talk to my colleagues across the country, I find pockets of excellence. However, it is difficult to match the broad spectrum laboratory achievements of Johns Hopkins Medicine. The Department of Pathology continues to be a leader in new technology and systemization. How do we do it? It is through the hundreds of Laboratory Professionals throughout the Department. We — Directors, Administrators, and Managers — extend a heartfelt “thank you” to all Laboratory Professionals. It is your support that is a cornerstone to Johns Hopkins Medicine’s success. Please enjoy a well deserved Laboratory Week.

Al Valentine
Administrator, Clinical and Financial Affairs
Department of Pathology