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by IRWIN Z. ROTHENBERG, MBA, MS, CLS(ASCP) 

The 21st-century challenge is to redesign healthcare systems to be safe, efficient, effective, timely, equitable and patient-centered. Laboratory medicine is integral to many of these objectives, involving disease prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and management. 

by BRANDON MCCUTCHEON, MD

If you are a physician or know a physician or have ever visited one, chances are you have probably heard them complain about technology in health care. More to the point, they are likely to be complaining about the one piece of technology that affects their lives minute-to-minute: the electronic health record (EHR). To get a sense of how central EHRs are to our daily routines, consider that physicians now spend more time in the EHR than they do seeing patients (6 hours of an average 11-hour work day). And while it is easy to write them off as luddites unable to adapt to new technology, an important study by the RAND organization noted that physicians approve of EHRs in principle and see the potential for the technology to improve the delivery of clinical care.

by DUSTYN WILLIAMS, MD

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke that has escalated to alarming rates in recent years, affecting nearly 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. In an attempt to reduce its prevalence, the Eighth Joint National Committee (JNC-8) released a set of hypertension management guidelines. However, various concerns arose regarding the recommendations and as a result, the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA), along with nine additional specialty organizations, published an updated hypertension guideline in November 2017.