Akuratemp’s Take on the ALMA 2023 Conference: Emerging Concerns for Compliance and Total Chain of Custody in Laboratory Medicine
Akuratemp attended the 2023 Analytical Laboratory Managers Association conference in Chapel Hill, NC at the Friday Conference Center on October 10th-12th, 2023. The conference, which drew approximately 150 attendees and exhibitors, aimed to provide a complete leadership experience for attendees, some of which were first time lab managers. Highlights of the conference included discussions on effective communication, inclusive and effective leadership, managing by leading as well as tools for implementing a successful transition from technician to lab manager.
At ALMA 2023, Akuratemp LLC presented its line of IVD Blood and Tissue Specimen Transport Kits, Smart Medical Totes, and Parcel Shippers for Laboratory Reagents and Samples. Additionally, we showcased our innovative Akurasense IoT-based Monitoring System, designed to track temperature, humidity, and geolocation for both mobile and fixed lab assets. The Akurasense Monitoring System is timely as lab managers are increasingly seeking a complete chain of custody record to verify cold chain compliance and guarantee that lab specimens are both viable and uncompromised.
Our presentation revealed something intriguing: numerous lab managers nodded in unison, acknowledging that compliance, visibility, and maintaining a clear chain of custody were becoming ever more essential for effective sample and specimen management. This not only guarantees the integrity of collected materials but also directly translates into improved outcomes for both the laboratory and, most importantly, patients. You can watch Akuratemp’s pitch here.
ALMA 2023 Speakers
The opening presentation “Communicating with Impact: Causing Action and Results in Others” by Rob Katz from Geek Leadership defined effective communication as one that creates the outcomes we desire. He provided the three essential ingredients to effective communication – being clear on intended results, answering the listener’s “what’s in it for me?” question and making communication easy to receive. In addition, tips were provided to make meaningful pauses for thinking and listening, have your “music” match your words, and being flexible to match your listener.
Dennis P. Stolle, JD, PhD presented the “Managers and Mental Health: Strategies for Fostering Psychologically Healthy Workplaces” talkhighlighting how work and career can be an engine for psychological and emotional wellbeing. We spend the majority of our waking hours at work. Dr Stolle’s talked about a workplace that potentially provides every employee a Five Star environment, i.e.
- “protection from harm” by providing job security
- “connection & community” with social support and sense of belonging
- “work-life harmony” through flexibility in schedule and great degree of autonomy
- “mattering at work” by being treated with dignity and being involved in meaningful work
- “opportunity for growth” provided through learning and awards for accomplishments
Psychological science confirms the major impact managers have on shaping a work environment. The presentation illuminated the many ways that managers influence the mental health of their teams, both through their direct interactions and through the workplace culture they foster.
Engaging with Attendees: Takeaways
Between sessions and during breaks, Akuratemp was given the opportunity to speak with attendees at the booth where we kept busy answering inquiries about the advantages of our Smart Medical Courier Totes and eco-friendly temperature controlled packaging solutions which provide improved outcomes for labs and their patients.
We experienced an increasing concern for temperature monitoring to establish end-to-end traceability of cold chain during specimen transportation. We also witnessed an increase in clinical research laboratories sending out specimen collection kits which require temperature monitoring across their journey towards and during return. Additionally, we noted a higher acceptance of multi-use temperature-controlled packaging as compared to the conference in 2022 and a higher concern for incorporating and/or establishing sustainability within healthcare supply chains by reducing waste of packaging materials and minimizing use of biohazardous materials such as dry ice.
During the final evening dinner at the conference we randomly selected seats at tables where we hadn’t yet met any of the attendees, eager to hear and learn from their diverse lab experiences. At Keith’s table, one of the attendees volunteers with a FDA regulatory board group responsible for developing compliance requirements pertaining to the movement of samples and specimens within the cold chain. A lengthy discussion ensued around plans to introduce new requirements within the next two to three years.
What struck us even more was the remarkable diversity at that single table, with representation from labs in Canada, England, Mexico and across the United States. This highlighted the common theme that no matter the geographical location, lab managers everywhere face similar challenges and are demanding better sustainable and traceable solutions.
How does Akuratemp and Akurasense contribute towards creating a more effective and sustainable cold chain for laboratory medicine?
Akuratemp LLC is an ISO 9001:2015 certified operation specializing in design and assembly of pre-validated, multi-use, and traceable temperature-controlled packaging systems for a sustainable healthcare supply chain.
- ISTA 7D pre-validated specimen transport kits minimize risks of sample damage due to temperature excursions.
- Multi-use specimen transport kits reduce costs of purchasing packaging materials and the costs of packaging material disposal
- End-to-end traceability of temperature stability during specimen transport helps maintain specimen integrity leading to reduced testing and quicker delivery of diagnostics for prompt patient care.
Akuratemp takes pride in staying at the forefront of these advancements with products such as Akurasense and our Smart Medical Courier Totes, designed to meet the demands and requirements of early adopters seeking more traceable and sustainable solutions for their laboratories.
During our downtime at the conference, we were also given the opportunity to speak with other ALMA exhibitors:
- Actalent Services serves the life science industry providing services to support companies with development processes, testing phases, manufacturing systems, diagnostic protocols, and regulatory standards in laboratory and clinical settings. You can find their website here.
- Agilent Technologies fulfills laboratory demands by providing instruments, software, services, and consumables to address the full range of scientific and laboratory management needs. You can find their website here.
- ASTM International works across various industries creating consensus and improving performance in manufacturing and materials, products and processes, and systems and services. You can find their website here.
- Astrix works with clients to improve business and scientific outcomes across many domains including laboratory, clinical & regulatory, pharmacovigilance, R&D, and manufacturing. You can find their website here.
- Fume Hood Certified, LLC assists in improving lab safety and addressing energy usage issues by helping individuals with laboratory fume hoods become aware of conditions that impact fume food performance, energy conservation and personal safety. You can find their website here.
- HistoWiz is dedicated to accelerating pathology-based research by providing global access to digital whole-slide images, online collaboration tools, low-cost data management, and experimental pathology expertise. You can find their website here.
- Jeiotech, Lab Companion provides laboratory and environmental testing equipment assisting companies in the field of biology, chemistry, medicine, and pharmacology. You can find their website here.
- Labtopia, Inc. is a technical services company providing staffing, consulting, training and informatics. Labtopia assists laboratories with design, selection, implementation, and support of software for effective lab operations. You can find their website here.
- MicroSolv Technology Corporation serves chemistry, medical and clinical R&D, environmental, forensic and biological laboratories by developing and manufacturing chromatography accessories and supplies for the Separation Sciences. You can find their website here.
- NBS Calibrations is a full service company specializing in calibration services offering a range of solutions for items such as balances, scales, pipettes, temperature, and more. You can find their website here.
- Vertére is a provider of inventory control solutions for chemical, biological, equipment, and supplies. Their specialties include scientific materials control, information accessibility and accountability, reconciliation tools, and more. You can find their website here.
- Bismos Lab Seating provides seating for industrial and laboratory environments, offering a wide product range for production, ESD, laboratory, clean room, and standing work. You can find their website here.
- LabRepCo provides laboratory equipment to customers across the scientific marketplace including “traditional” pharmaceutical, biotechnology and government research venues, as well as academic, forensic, and industrial research laboratories. You can find their website here.
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