Members of the Consumer Response Team responsible for ensuring responses to questions regarding laboratory tests as posted on the LabTestsOnLine website. Typically members have had a at least 3-5 years experience in the clinical laboratory so that they have a comfort with questions from preparation for specimen collection through to explanation of test results.
Training consists of one-on-one session with an experienced member of the team in your discipline. After the two of you agree that you are ready, you are assigned to a specific day. Members in a discipline can either choose to alternate days or split up the number of questions for their assigned days. For example, a team might divide up the 75 total questions into 3 sections (1-25, 26-50, 51-75) with each person replying to the questions in their discipline found within that section. Another common method is for each team member to be assigned one day. For example, if the team is composed of 4 people, then each person answers all the questions in their discipline once every 4th week.
Support for schedule changes or expert knowledge is shared among the team of the day or the entire CI.
The team members are granted 10 hours of CE for each year.
In 1999, The American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science established the ASCLS Consumer Information Response Team. First conceived by Susan J. Leclair (ASCLS;CNE), the team answered questions that were submitted on the ASCLS website. The site was never publicized but within 2 months, there was a need for additional volunteers.
In 2001, the consortium-produced LabTestsOnLine website asked that the ASCLS CI be an active participant on that site. The average number of question submitted quickly soared.
By 2010, the team had grown from the original seven people to 48. Each day has a team of clinical laboratory scientists who specialize in Clinical Chemistry, Immunology/ Immunohematology, Hematology/Hemostasis, and Microbiology/Infectious Disease. Questions can be submitted by patients, family members and healthcare providers. The goal is to provide replies to all questions are given individualized answers within 48 hours of submission.
Today, we reply to an average of 75 questions each day. While there is no absolute term of office, some folks have stayed for decades while others have left so there is a constant need for new members.
- Examples from Chemistry include questions concerning fasting, drug testing for employment, lipids, glucose/diabetes and thyroid conditions.
- Examples from Hematology include questions concerning warfarin and the INR, basic CBC results, Erythrocyte Sedimentation rate, etc. Hematology is also responsible for questions on th standard urinalysis and body fluids.
- Examples from Immunology include questions concerning ANA patterns, RF, HIV testing, etc.
- Examples of Microbiology questions include questions concerning specimen collection, explanation of site specific culture results, ova and parasite testing, etc.