AACC University

Sunday, December 13

AACC University features 19 low-cost sessions on Sunday, December 13 that you can attend without paying the full scientific meeting registration fee. You may choose between a half-day session, either in the morning or afternoon, or six full-day sessions. And as a bonus, if you take an AACC University course, you are also invited to attend the Special Session, Sunday Plenary Session, and the AACC Opening Mixer & Division Networking Event.

Half-Day Morning Sessions

Half-Day Afternoon Sessions

Full-Day Sessions

Half-Day Morning Sessions

8:30 – 11:30 a.m.

191001 Coagulation Testing: What Could Go Wrong?

Coagulation testing poses many technical and clinical challenges, from confusing test names to analytical interferences and convoluted interpretations. Unfortunately, many of these issues can lead to diagnostic errors. This session will focus on pre-analytical, analytical, and post-analytical errors encountered when testing for clotting factor activities, heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT), and antiphospholipid antibodies. Learn more.

191002 Integrating Chemistry and Hematology in Clinical Practice: RBC Disorders

This session will cover laboratory testing used in the diagnosis of red blood cell disorders. Topics will be discussed using a case-based approach, and each case will begin with a description of the patient’s complete blood count (CBC) and red blood cell morphology. Although the focus will be on clinical chemistry testing, the goal of the session is to highlight situations where clinical chemistry and hematology testing can be used together to make diagnoses and monitor therapy. Learn more.

191003 Multiple Myeloma Diagnostics: Interpretation, Interferences, and Reporting of Protein Electrophoresis and Serum Free Light Chains

Developed in cooperation with the AACC Clinical and Diagnostic Immunology Division

This session will provide an interactive set of myeloma cases and the appropriate diagnostic tests, including serum protein electrophoresis, immunofixation, and serum free light chains. Attendees will be provided with standardized approaches for diagnosis, examples of results, and advice on how to interpret and report these results focusing on the subtleties of effectively communicating relevant laboratory findings. Results will include capillary electrophoresis and agarose gels. Cases will include clinical history and context as well as challenging interpretative aspects, such as monoclonal proteins that migrate in the alpha and beta region and samples with interferences from monoclonal therapeutic agents. Learn more.

191004 Rise and Shine! The Essential Elements of a Point-of-Care Testing Boot Camp (Part 1)

This session will focus on elements and components of procedure writing, process mapping training programs, and competency assessment for testing personnel. Participation is encouraged via polling. Small group, peer-to-peer discussion, and hands-on table exercises related to these topics are conducted. (See Part 2 for focus areas in the afternoon Boot Camp session.) Learn more.

191005 Trust, but Verify: Getting the Most Out of Evaluation Protocols for FDA Approved Methods

This AACC University course will discuss the process of selecting and evaluating clinical laboratory methods. Attendees will learn the correct approach to this key clinical laboratory task. This course uses a series of clinical laboratory evaluation examples to focus attention on the critical aspects of the method evaluation process. The emphasis is on verification protocols that a clinical laboratory professional should accomplish for those methods and instruments that are approved by the FDA. Learn more.

191006 Update on Tumor Markers: Clinical Utility, Analytical Requirements, and Clinical Interpretation

Tumor markers are being used by clinicians for cancer screening as well as clinical decision and management of cancer patients. Their utility is evolving into new roles in the era of personalized cancer medicine, but there are challenges with standardization and interferences. Efforts are also ongoing to find "ideal tumor markers" that can be easily measured in body fluid and are 100% specific and highly sensitive to the tumor in question. This session will focus on 1) the current status and clinical application of tumor markers, 2) pre-analytical, analytical, and post-analytical challenges in monitoring tumor markers, and 3) discovery and new technologies in the search for the “ideal tumor marker.” We will conclude this session with clinical interpretation and case discussion. Learn more.

191007 Using Data Science and Clinical Decision Support to Transform Your Laboratory

Data analytics, machine learning, and clinical decision support (CDS) have become essential components of the clinical laboratory toolbox. Throughout this session, we will demonstrate how labs have harnessed these tools to transform operations, optimize test utilization, reduce costs, improve population health management, and enhance diagnostic precision and clinical value. We will first explore key foundational concepts that underlie the application of decision support throughout the laboratory testing process. We will then show how labs are combining the power of analytics and decision support to drive change and improve outcomes. Further, we will demonstrate how advanced techniques such as machine learning offer a powerful and practical set of tools to extract new clinical insights from electronic health data. Moreover, we will discuss how machine learning-based predictive algorithms may provide a foundation for artificially intelligent CDS aimed at optimizing care for individual patients. Finally we will take a look into the future of CDS, with a look into the emerging discipline of computational pathology, which has the potential to supercharge the laboratory’s impact on patient care. We will conclude the session with an interactive case to illustrate the application of key CDS and data science concepts to a challenging laboratory utilization issue. Learn more.

Half-Day Afternoon Sessions

12:30 – 3:30 p.m.

192008 Adventures in Method Verification

This session will cover the basics of verifying a laboratory method using working examples from the speakers' own practices. Implementing a new method in the clinical laboratory is a common and important step that is required before applying a new method to patient samples. Verification requires performing a set of experiments and analyzing the data for acceptability according to pre-determined criteria. We will work through these steps in a systematic way using real clinical laboratory data. We will explain common statistical techniques including ordinary least squares regression (OLS), Deming regression, Passing-Bablok regression, and Bland-Altman plots emphasizing how these differ from each other, what they have in common, and how these are used in evaluating the results of a method assessment. Learn more.

192009 Afternoon Reveille! Continuing the Essential Elements of a Point-of-Care Testing Boot Camp (Part 2)

Developed in cooperation with the AACC Critical and Point-of-Care Testing Division

This session will focus on the elements and components of integrating quality management into POCT, creating strong multidisciplinary team communications, and integrating POCT connectivity. The importance of building clinical partnerships for successful POCT delivery will be incorporated. Lectures will include response (polls) and a breakout session will add hands-on table exercises. (See Part 1 for focus areas in the morning Boot Camp Session). Learn more.

192010 Blood Gas Testing: Basics and Beyond

Developed in cooperation with the AACC Critical and Point-of-Care Testing Division

Blood gas analyses are essential for the management of critically ill patients. This session will review the basics of blood gas testing, discuss approaches for ensuring quality in blood gas analyses, and provide guidance on overcoming challenges associated with blood gas analyses. Learn more.

192011 Certification Board Review Course

Everyone from trainees to experienced laboratory professionals should maintain certain standards for skills and knowledge. The intent of this session is to provide a Socratic review of clinical chemistry topics designed for every level such that participants can learn, review, and gauge personal strengths and weaknesses. Utilizing multiple-choice type questions, the speakers will review and provide explanations as needed for a variety of clinical chemistry topics including, but not limited to, methodology, result interpretation, calculations/statistics, and laboratory management, as well as regulations in an interactive constructive educational format. The audience will be encouraged not only to find the correct answer in a timely manner, but also to engage and participate in discussion. Learn more.

192012 Integrating Chemistry and Hematology in Clinical Practice: WBC and Platelet Disorders

This session will cover laboratory testing used in the diagnosis of white blood cell and platelet disorders. Topics will be discussed using a case-based approach, and each case will begin with a description of the patient’s complete blood count (CBC), white blood cell morphology and, if appropriate, flow cytometry and platelet function testing results. Although the focus will be on clinical chemistry and genetic testing, the goal of the session is to highlight situations where clinical chemistry and hematology testing can be used together to make diagnoses and monitor therapy. Learn more.

192013 You Don’t Have to Be an Informatics Ninja to Build a Lab Utilization Dashboard with Tableau

Love the idea of being able to visualize your data using a dashboard, but don’t have an informatics team to build it? Don’t think you can do it yourself? In this session, we will walk you through our experience in building a send out test utilization dashboard to help demystify the process and give you practical tools to help get you started with your own projects. Discussion topics will include how to identify the key questions you want your dashboard to answer, how to find and organize the data that goes into the dashboard, and some recommendations for good data visualization. Hands-on exercises will demonstrate how to get started building your first basic test utilization dashboard using Tableau and Excel worksheets. Learn more.

Full-Day Sessions

<8:30 - 3:30 p.m.

193014 Bridging the Gap Between Training and On-the-Job Responsibilities: A Toolkit for Laboratorians

Developed in cooperation with the AACC Society for Young Clinical Laboratorians (SYCL) Core Committee

This interactive session aims to support early career laboratorians by bridging the gap between clinical training and “new job” responsibilities. Speakers from both adult and children hospitals with a diverse range of experiences will present laboratory scenarios and explore how to overcome these challenges. In the morning session, participants will be presented with cases that will require them to apply their training to multiple scenarios, ranging from daily management to acute situations. Through facilitated small group discussions, participants will work through each scenario with guidance from the moderators. In the afternoon session, attendees will have the opportunity to apply what they have learned to high-pressure situations commonly encountered in the laboratory with an emphasis on scenarios that need to be addressed immediately where the answer is not always evident. Participants will discuss how they would approach these problems in small groups. At the end of each scenario, the moderators will discuss how an early-career medical director and experienced medical director would navigate these conditions. The day will end with an “ask us anything” session where participants will have the opportunity to share their own experiences or ask questions. Learn more.

193015 Doing More with R: Creating Your Own Automated Reports and Dashboards

Developed in cooperation with the AACC Informatics Division

This session aims to develop skills in the use of R and RStudio for (1) creating reproducible data analysis and visualization workflows, (2) producing highly effective, publication-quality graphics, and (3) generating reports and dashboards that can be automated and easily shared. The focus will be on analyses and reports commonly used for clinical laboratory operational and quality assurance monitoring activities. Attendees will create a beginning-to-end workflow using provided templates and example data sets (i.e., from creating the RStudio project to generate a shareable data analysis report or dashboard). The flexibility of visualization and report outputs from R makes this session applicable to anyone who wants to enhance their ability to reproducibly create figures and communicate data analyses. Teaching will be structured around lecture slides and interactive coding exercises in R Markdown. Code will be provided at two levels related to attendee proficiency with R code: basic (attendee will run example code provided) and intermediate (attendee will write code based on provided example code). Attendees will work with R and RStudio installed on their personal laptop. Attendees should have at least an introductory level of familiarity with/use of the R programming language and RStudio IDE. Learn more.

193016 How to Truly "Excel" at Data Analysis and Visualization: An Introduction to the R Programming Language

Are you interested in learning programming skills for analysis of clinical laboratory data but have limited exposure to programming? R is a freely available statistical programming language that supports the complex data manipulation and analysis activities needed for efficient clinical laboratory practice. In this session we introduce basic concepts of R programming as well as more generalizable best practices in working with laboratory data. Through a mix of didactic content and interactive exercises, we will introduce the audience to the basics of working with the R language and writing code in a reproducible way, and will teach the fundamental skills of importing, transforming, summarizing, and visualizing data. Learn more.

193017 Test Life Cycle Model for LDTs and FDA Cleared Clinical Laboratory Tests: Using CLSI Guidelines and FDA Guidance to Meet FDA, CLIA, and ISO Requirements

Developed in cooperation with the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI)

This session demonstrates required and recommended practices to ensure quality in the development of laboratory developed tests (LDTs) and transfer into the clinical laboratory testing environment. This session explains the establishment of the LDT’s performance specifications, i.e., validation, along with verification of established performance specifications when implementing both LDTs and FDA-cleared tests. Both establishment and implementation are illustrated using real-life cases. The test life cycle, related concepts, and definitions are introduced. For each step in the life cycle, speakers review the FDA, CLIA, and ISO requirements. Specific examples of LDTs illustrate how CLSI documents can be used to meet the requirements and to avoid pitfalls. A reviewer from New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) explains pitfalls observed in real-life LDT submissions. Learn more.

193018 The Laboratory Leader as Strategist: Extending Boundaries for Clinical Laboratory Influence and Impact

Developed in cooperation with the IFCC Education and Management Division (EMD) Committee on Clinical Laboratory Management (C-CLM)

This session describes how to shift the focus of laboratory leaders from managing and leading laboratory internal operations to developing relationships and expanding influence outside of the laboratory. The main goal is to provide laboratorians with a skill set that will enable them to effectively interact and gain influence with laboratory stakeholders. The session addresses four major areas that involve stakeholder interaction and improving personal effectiveness: 1) influence and the art of persuasion, 2) effective communication strategies for laboratorians, 3) the laboratorian as a patient safety champion, and 4) principles of program evaluation. Within these four main topic areas the following will be discussed: the determinants of influence; how persuasion works from both sides; improving personal communication skills, including public media communications; the do’s and don’ts when representing the laboratory and its interests; the roles of risk management in patient safety; how disclosure should occur when there is patient harm; how to design an evaluation strategy and evaluate a program as an external evaluator of another service area; and how evaluation complements strategic planning and change management. Learn more.

193019 The Secrets to Success: Implementing Robust LC-MS/MS Methods in the Clinical Laboratory

This session aims to assist clinical laboratories interested in implementing mass spectrometry. It will cover the fundamentals of liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry including available sample preparation techniques, essential considerations and effective approaches for method development, test validation, post-implementation monitoring, and troubleshooting. Learn more.

New Dates for AACC 2020: Dec. 13-17

AACC is pleased to announce that--despite the COVID-19 pandemic--the organization will be able to preserve the complete 2020 AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo experience for its attendees by moving the meeting to December 13-17, 2020.