TORONTO, April 21, 2015 /CNW/ - The Ontario Association of Medical Laboratories announced today that it will be introducing new measures to enhance the accuracy of test results used to detect kidney disease. In May 2015 community laboratories across Ontario will be adopting a new equation for the calculation of an Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR). This change will reduce the over-diagnosis of kidney disease in certain patients, resulting in more appropriate referrals and better use of healthcare resources.
"During National Medical Laboratory Week we are delighted to announce that Ontario community laboratories are leading the way in the adoption of more innovative and accurate laboratory testing services," said Paul Gould, CEO of the Ontario Association of Medical Laboratories (OAML). "This initiative is another example of how medical laboratory professionals in the community laboratory sector are working together with their healthcare partners to support patients and clinicians across the province."
As reported in The Journal of the American Medical Association, a meta-analysis based on the new equation indicated that 24 percent of the general population of patients would be reclassified to a lower risk category of chronic kidney disease and 0.6 percent would be reclassified to a higher risk category. Adoption of this new equation will help address the over-diagnosis of kidney disease in women, the elderly, and those with less muscle mass.
The new framework has been endorsed by the Canadian Society of Nephrologists (CSN), the Ontario Renal Network (ORN), and by Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO), a global organization that is developing and implementing evidence-based clinical practice guidelines in kidney disease.
"Not only will this change benefit patients, it will also help to ensure more appropriate use of healthcare resources," said Dr. Peter Blake, Medical Director of the Ontario Renal Network.
OAML members will facilitate the adoption of the KDIGO recommendations by providing guidelines to over 19,000 Ontario clinicians on how the new lab test results should be used to diagnose and monitor chronic kidney disease. In addition to the guidelines, the OAML will provide clinicians with a kidney disease risk assessment tool that demonstrates how to incorporate the new concepts into their practices.
"We are very pleased to partner with the OAML in support of this initiative," said Jim O'Brien, Executive Director of the Ontario Branch of The Kidney Foundation of Canada. "We also hope to aid clinicians in educating their patients about kidney disease by providing copies of our patient information brochure to include with the guidelines being distributed by the OAML."
According to The Kidney Foundation of Canada, one in 10 Canadians have kidney disease, with millions more at risk for the disease. Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney disease in Canada. Early diagnosis and treatment are vital to managing kidney disease and to avoiding, or at least delaying, the need for costly dialysis or kidney transplantation.
About the OAML: www.OAML.com
The OAML was established in 1978 as the voice of Ontario's community medical laboratory sector. OAML member laboratories provide 97 percent of all diagnostic testing for patients outside of hospitals. The members of the Association operate 24 accredited testing facilities and 329 licensed specimen collection centres across Ontario.
SOURCE Ontario Association of Medical Laboratories
For further information: Paul Gould, CEO, OAML, (416) 250-8555, firstname.lastname@example.org