Thalassemia/Hemoglobinopathies: A Glimpse into LifeLabs’ experience & new policies - to avoid unnecessary duplicate testing
Dr. Anil Mangal - Clinical Director Hematology BC, LifeLabs; Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, UBC
Hemoglobinopathy/ thalassemia investigation (EHG) at LifeLabs, is centralized at Burnaby Regional Laboratory (BRL). These tests are performed on out-patients referred from various communities thru-out BC.
Prior to the integration of the two major outpatient community laboratories in BC (BC Biomedical & LifeLabs Medical Laboratories), a retrospective analysis of 2015 data showed these laboratories, had tested 10,939 patients for EHGs during the year.
In addition to Iron deficiency, repeat EHG testing was also noted in our study which led to LifeLabs changing its workflow and implemented new policies since integration, where repeat requests for EHG are cancelled and NO unnecessary repeat EHG testing is done.
EHG is a useful investigation for unexplained/ persistent anemia or abnormal RBC morphologic findings. EHG cannot be interpreted in isolation: hematologic parameters, Iron status, ethnic background and relevant diagnosis, must all be provided. Ferritin/ Iron studies are needed in all patients before EHG testing.
Unnecessary duplicate EHG testing can be avoided, as already implemented at LifeLabs Medical Laboratories, with significant LifeLabs resource utilization but cost savings.
Dr. Mangal is a Laboratory Physician, practicing as Hematopathologist with LifeLabs BC. His primary role with LifeLabs is Medical Team Lead for Hematology Discipline, LifeLabs BC.
He holds a university faculty appointment with Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia. Dr. Mangal is actively involved with UBC Hematopathology Resident Training Program. He is the Onsite Coordinator for UBC Hematopathology Residents, at LifeLabs BC.
Dr. Mangal has authored ten peer-reviewed publications and numerous abstracts/ papers during his 35 years of career as a Hematopathologist. One of his publications “Acquired hemolytic anemia due to auto Anti-A or auto Anti-B induced by group O homograft in renal transplant recipients” Transfusion, 1984; 24 (3):201-5; has been cited/Referenced 59 times as of Nov. 2011. In 2008, Dr. Mangal was recognized for his “Long-term Contribution: 25 completed years” at UBC Faculty of Medicine, Dept. of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.
Dr. Mangal also holds “Masters of Business Administration (MBA)” from University of Simon Fraser, BC.