Clinical biochemistry conference comes to Adelaide
Ever since its inception in 1961, the Australasian Association of Clinical Biochemists (AACB), a premier professional association in laboratory medicine, has held high-quality annual scientific conferences — and this year is no exception.
The 57th AACB Annual Scientific Conference will be held at Adelaide Convention Centre from 15–17 October. The theme of the 2019 conference is ‘Clinical Biochemistry: Optimising Value in Healthcare’.
Current focus in many healthcare disciplines, including pathology, is turning to value for money for payers and maximising health outcomes for patients. This year’s AACB conference aims to showcase how optimising use of clinical biochemistry and laboratory medicine can add value to laboratory testing by improving patient outcomes and enhancing the efficiency of the patient care pathway in addition to maintaining quality performance. The program will not only investigate the ‘value proposition’ in terms of cost-effectiveness, it will also explore recent biomarker discovery and implementation in clinical laboratories and beyond that leads to improved patient outcomes.
This year’s David Curnow Plenary Lecture will be delivered by Dr Andrew St John, who is the Chair of Committee for the Value Proposition in Laboratory Medicine for the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC), a member of the European Federation of Laboratory Medicine Test Evaluation Working Group (EFLM-TEWG) and a past president of the AACB. He is a leading Perth-based clinical scientist and consultant in laboratory medicine and pioneer of the application of the value proposition, a concept well known in business, to laboratory medicine. His lecture, titled ‘Sustainable Healthcare: Is Quality Pathology the Key?’, will explore the value proposition and describe how adoption of this will necessitate the pathology profession providing leadership for research across health care to demonstrate the value of pathology.
There will also be two international speakers delivering plenary lectures at this year’s conference.
Dr Christa Cobbaert heads the Department of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine at Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC). She is Vice-Chair of the IFCC Scientific Division Executive Committee and the current Chair of EFLM-TEWG. Her plenary lecture will be based on her experience of redesigning the 24/7 core lab and the total diagnostic test processes (including the underlying IT process) at LUMC using a system engineering approach, and how this has improved patient outcomes.
Laboratories do not operate in a vacuum and scientists are required to do more with less on a daily basis. In his plenary, Dr Paul Jüelicher will describe how to translate laboratory information into what he describes as “health authorities’ and managers’ endpoints”. Dr Jüelicher is a leading authority in health-based economics and is also a member of the IFCC’s Committee on the Value Proposition in Laboratory Medicine.
Other conference highlights include lectures given by Professor Rita Horvath and Alison Smith. Prof Horvath will talk about the evidence- and risk-based approach to effective communication of high-risk laboratory results — this will reflect work done in the RCPA-AACB Critical Laboratory Results Working Party as well as the CLSI and RCPA-AACB high-risk results guidelines. Smith will be expand on defining test value based on outcomes and bridging the health technology assessment (HTA)–laboratory divide.
Symposium themes in the main conference include advances in care delivery in lipid disorders, paediatric biochemistry, endocrinology and informatics.
Two satellite meetings have also been scheduled. On Monday, 14 October there is a ‘Point of Care Testing Workshop’ and on Friday, 18 October there is the next instalment of the popular ‘Quality Control Workshop’.
The conference organisers look forward to welcoming attendees to Adelaide in October.
What: 57th AACB Annual Scientific Conference
When: 15–17 October 2019
Where: Adelaide Convention Centre
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