Medical Staff Updates

Lab Test Ordering: Choosing Wisely

by Medical Staff Office on July 29, 2014

As we increasingly focus on ways to provide safer, higher-quality care to patients, we are finding ways to reduce waste in healthcare resources. A Laboratory Utilization Committee has been gathering since February 2014 and is tasked with providing our clinicians with evidence-based recommendations for optimal clinical laboratory utilization. This work is being done in collaboration with Choosing Wisely®, a national initiative of the ABIM Foundation and with the American Society for Clinical Pathology.

Below you will find the first in a series of recommendations and guidelines from the committee regarding the RBC folate test. Expect periodic updates regarding changes to our lab test menu as we work toward our goal of developing an evidence-based formulary approach to lab test ordering. For more information or to recommend tests as good candidates for utilization review or elimination, please contact Sanford Robbins, MD, chief of pathology, at 443-481-4252 or srobbins@AAHS.org.

RBC Folate Test No Longer Indicated

The Lab Utilization Committee has identified RBC folate as a test that is no longer indicated. Based on studies carried out at Mayo Medical Laboratories, we believe there is sufficient equivalence between RBC and serum folate testing to support this decision. Effective immediately, all requests for RBC folate will be converted to an order for serum folate.

A 10-year retrospective study of RBC and serum folate testing, performed by Mayo Medical laboratories, concludes that there is no evidence to support routine ordering of RBC or serum folate, and that serum folate concentrations provide equivalent clinical information to RBC folate in the assessment and diagnosis of folate deficiency. The following is a quote from a Mayo Medical Laboratories’ “Hot topics in laboratory medicine”:

“True folate deficiency in the current era of FDA-mandated folic acid supplementation is exceedingly rare. There is no evidence to support routine ordering of RBC or serum folate, but serum folate concentrations provide equivalent clinical information to RBC folate in the assessment and diagnosis of folate deficiency. Based on these statistics, and because serum folate provides equivalent results to RBC folate in almost all clinical scenarios, routine ordering of RBC folate is no longer warranted. Furthermore, investigation of megaloblastic anemia should preferentially be initiated with vitamin B12 testing instead of folate due to the low incidence of modern folate deficiency. In the absence of B12 deficiency, it is more cost effective to simply supplement with folic acid rather than routinely test and monitor a patient’s folate status, similar to other nutritional deficiencies such as vitamin D.”

Please use the link shown below for additional information from the Mayo Hot Topics presentation given November, 2010.

The entire article can be found here.

This policy change was approved by a multidisciplinary committee of AAMC physicians that included representatives from hematology/oncology. Please direct any questions or comments to Suzanne Leshinskie, laboratory director, or Sanford Robbins, MD, Chief of Pathology.

MDICS Selected as a 2014 Washington Post Top Workplace

by Medical Staff Office on July 29, 2014

MDICS (Physicians Inpatient Care Specialists) is pleased to announce that it has been selected as one of The Washington Post Top Workplaces in 2014.

The Top Workplaces are determined based solely on employee feedback. The employee survey is conducted by WorkplaceDynamics, LLP, a leading research firm on organizational health and employee engagement. WorkplaceDynamics conducts regional Top Workplaces programs with 40 major publishing partners across the United States and provides solutions, training and tools to help clients improve their workplace.

MDICS is Maryland’s largest, private hospitalist group of physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants dedicated to providing comprehensive, cost-effective, high-quality medical care to patients in hospitals, skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers, assisted living communities and continuing care retirement communities.

MDICS was selected as a Top Workplace because we create a culture of engaged employees. Click on the video link to hear what some of our employees are saying about MDICS. (Click to view Video)

  • “Everybody works as a team player; we are all part of an amazing team, sharing common goals & values.”
  • “Our company’s positive atmosphere and new ideas help to improve how care is delivered.”
  • “I work with great people who are progressive, efficient and enjoy their work.”
  • “Observing a smile on my patient’s face gives me more joy than anything else.”
  • “MDICS employs people from different races and healthcare backgrounds who can put their ideas together to deliver the very best to our patients.”

“We are extremely proud that we’ve been selected as one of The Washington Post Top Workplaces,” said Dr. Douglas Mitchell, CEO and Co-Founder of MDICS.  “We value our employees and strive to attain our Core Values, which includes achieving quality metrics for healthcare systems, teamwork with our providers and clients, a willingness to accomplish what our clients request (‘Yes’ culture), and maintaining connections with our employees, providers, and valued customers.”

The Washington Post published the complete list of Top Workplaces on June 22nd.  For more information, please visit www.topworkplaces.com. For information about MDICS, please visit www.MDICS.com.

Brian Kahan, DO, authors article in “Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America”

by Medical Staff Office on July 29, 2014

Click here to read the article, “Cancer Pain and Current Theory for Pain Control.”

Welcome New Medical Staff Members

by Medical Staff Office on July 29, 2014

Please welcome the following new medical staff members:

  • Bryan Ambro, MD – Annapolis Ear, Nose, Throat & Allergy Associates
  • Clifford Andrew, MD – Private Practice, Neurology
  • Susan Berger, MD – Joining Annapolis Rheumatology
  • Madelaine Binner, CRNP – Joining Anne Arundel Oncology Center
  • John Choi, MD – Joining Chesapeake Retina Centers
  • Myra DeLuca, CNM – Joining Special Beginnings Birth and Women’s Center
  • Bridgette Gourley, CRNP – AAMC Community Clinics
  • Donna Greenfield, CNM – Joining Special Beginnings Birth and Women’s Center
  • Cescili Hopkins, MD – Joining AAMC OB/Gyn Hospitalist Program
  • Lianrui Li, CRNP – Joining AAMC Fast Care at Bowie
  • Ellen McInerney, MD – Joining Maryland Inpatient Care Specialists, LLC
  • Maureen O’Brien, PA-C – Joining AAMC Breast Center
  • Tiffany Owens, MD – Joining Anesthesia Company, LLC
  • Samir Patel, MD – Joining Anesthesia Company, LLC
  • Valerie Sinady, MD – Joining AAMC Fast Care at Bowie
  • Teresa Stanfill, CRNP – AAMC Community Clinics
  • Sophie Thibodeau, CRNP – Joining Women Ob/Gyn, PA

Diagnosing ADHD in Adolescence

by jmiller on July 29, 2014

“This study examines adolescent-specific practical problems associated with current practice parameters for diagnosing ADHD in order to inform recommendations for the diagnosis of ADHD in adolescents.  Specifically, issues surrounding the use of selv vs. informant ratings, diagnostic threshold, and introspective reporting of childhood symptoms were addressed.  (J Consult Clin Psychol, Feb 2012)  Click here to read full text.

Medical staff mentors college students in new clinical research internship program

by Medical Staff Office on June 12, 2014

Twelve college students began an eight-week program at AAMC on June 2. Working closely with a physician or nurse leader, the interns assist with clinical research and performance improvement projects toward a goal of presentation or publication. They are also learning research tactics in a classroom setting, and will present initial outcomes of their research to their cohorts, mentors and executives. In addition to research, students “shadow” mentors in clinics, on inpatient floors and operating rooms. Mentor clinicians include: Stephen Cattaneo, MD; Raymond Hoffman, MD; Alex Katcheves, MD; Paul King, MD; Cathaleen Ley, RN; Will Maxted, MD; Barry Meisenberg, MD; Joe Moser, MD; Lorraine Tafra, MD; David Weng, MD; and Aimee Yu, MD.

Luc Dad, MD, is first author on international radiation oncology journal article

by Medical Staff Office on June 12, 2014

Read the article here.

The $50,000 Physical

by jmiller on June 11, 2014

This JAMA “Piece of Mind”…  This interesting vignette illustrates how an annual physical caused a healthy 85 year old to go through a battery of tests that left him impaired afterwards as a result of this “harmless” physical.   The author’s intent was to show the impact of how “unnecessary testing” can cause harm.  Click here to read full text.

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