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AACC India Section’s CME on clinical chemistry and immunoassay held in Mumbai

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Experts present at the CME spoke about different tools that can be instrumental in overcoming a range of challenges in the lab

Recently in Mumbai, the AACC India Section organised a CME on Clinical Chemistry and Immunoassays: From bench to bedside at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital. The CME attracted some of the top-notch leaders and researchers from India and abroad. This gathering focussed on discussing the recent developments in clinical chemistry laboratory testing, lab automation, standardisation of assays and method validations as well as aimed at addressing challenges and interferences in immunoassay. Experts present at the CME spoke about different tools that can be instrumental in overcoming a range of challenges in the lab. Students present at the CME had the opportunity to learn new strategies from experts for approaching standardisation and validation issues. Additionally, this programme was designed to boost the confidence of students and honing their ability to collaborate as well as guide them to resolve laboratory-related issues with their colleagues.

Experts present at the event included Dr Sushil Shah, Founder Chairman and Executive Director, Metropolis Healthcare; Dr Carman Wiley, President, American Association of Clinical Chemistry (AACC); Dr Qing Meng, Director, Clinical Chemistry, University of Texas and MD, Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX; Dr Lakshmi Ramanathan, Chief Clinical Chemistry Service, Memorial Sloan- Kethering Cancer Center, New York; Dr Ravender Singh, Co-Director of Endocrine Laboratory, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN; Dr Arnab Pal, Additional Professor, Biochemistry, PGI, Chandigarh; Dr Robert Rej, Associate Professor, Biomedical Sciences, School of Public Health, State University of New York, Albany; Dr Santosh Shetty, CEO & Executive Director, Kokilaben Hospital, Mumbai and more.

The event began with Dr Barnali Das, Organising Secretary and Chair, AACC India section speaking about the vision of this CME. She informed that the AACC has been working towards improving education among biochemistry students and aims to further enhance clinical diagnostics. The experts present at the meeting pointed out that lab medicine has transformed from being restricted to clinical reports to becoming partners in decision making for healthcare provision. Diagnostics has truly evolved from the bench to the bedside. They informed that labs have to be in constant communication with the clinicians in order to provide quality diagnostics. Moreover, clinical biologists have become an important link in the entire healthcare provision system. Experts also shared insights on how total lab automation can reduce operating and labour costs and ensure a decent ROIs. However, they also highlighted that total lab automation needs constant monitoring as small failures or technical glitches can be detrimental to outcomes.

Also, not all labs require automation. Only those with high volumes should resort to total automation. Dr Ramanathan advised some labs to avoid resorting to total lab automation as it is always better to have some human intervention in the process. She emphasised that some human control is a must.
Additionally, experts deliberated on the significance of eliminating immunoassay interferences and address challenges associated with improving quality. Dr Reg highlighted the role of proficiency testing and urged laboratories to opt for External Quality Assessment ( EQA )schemes. In response to that, many Indian lab clinicians expressed the challenges associated with the effectiveness of lab quality management systems that are a hindrance to opting for EQA schemes. Nevertheless, most labs in India have opted for EQA schemes on a quarterly and half yearly basis, experts informed. At the end, all the experts were unanimous in expressing their dedication towards continuous improvement of lab practices to build a strong healthcare system in the country.

About AACC India
AACC India Section was established as a first international pilot project of American Association of Clinical Chemistry (AACC), in the year 2018. Its objective is to connect with global leaders in clinical chemistry, molecular diagnostics, mass spectrometry, translational medicine, laboratory management and other frontier areas of laboratory medicine.

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