Friday, March 03, 2006

They call him Helen Keller...

Laura came up with a super-fantastic new nickname for my dog: HELEN KELLER. It's even funnier than Stinky McDeaferson and Reflux McSmelly.

In other news, there's a new hospital policy that says LDLs are only measured when the TGs > 400. In fact, even if you've ordered an LDL, the computer that does the blood lipid analysis has been programmed to simply override your order if the TGs aren't high enough.

So that might be good clinically, but we're trying to do some VERY IMPORTANT RESEARCH here, we need those LDL levels.

So I called the director of the lab (dol) the other day to figure this out:

R: Hi, as part of this study we're doing, we need the LDL levels on the research subjects but because of that new clinical TG policy, I think the computer is overriding my order, because I'm not receiving any of the LDL levels for my study patients. What should I do to make sure that the LDLs are done on my study patients no matter what their TG is?

DOL: Well you see, there's a hospital policy recently put into effect that we don't measure LDLs unless the TG > 400, even if you specifically ordered an LDL. You see, it's because recently Medicare changed their reimbursement BLAH BLAH BLAH blathers on for 15 minutes about irrelevant hospital and insurance gibberish.

R: Listens patiently til lod is winded. I see, thank you. I was actually wondering how I could make sure the LDLs get done, because it's one of my study parameters, and it's being done as part of a study, and not for a direct clinical purpose. Because it's part of a STUDY.

DOL: Slowly and patient in manner of talking to mildly retarded child. You see, the computer AUTOMATICALLY overrides your order, so unless the TGs > 400, the LDL won't get done.

R: I think I understand. Do you know if there's a way that I can get the LDLs measured no matter what the TGs are? We're measuring the lipid panel as part of a study, it's not for a direct clinical purpose. It's for a STUDY.

DOL: But if the TGs DO NOT EXCEED 400, the computer won't measure the LDL. Recently, Medicare changed their reimbursement policy --

R: Oh yeah, I remember you explained that to me a second ago. Can I just ask a quick question real fast? Is there ANY POSSIBLE WAY that the LDLs can get done? We're ordering them for A STUDY. "STUDY" means that the costs are covered by the University or the NIH. I guess what I'm asking is, is there a way for a laboratory technician to OVERRIDE the automated requirements for LDL measurement and just measure it anyway? Because we need the LDLs done no matter what the TG level is. FOR A STUDY.

DOL: Oh yeah. Just email me the patients names and I'll just do it.

I hate it when people treat me like I'M the idiot.

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