Microbiological Sciences Branch Notices

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The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Laboratory Services Section  is proposing changes to the Texas Administrative Code (TAC).

The purpose of the changes is to repeal rules §73.54 and §73.55 related to the Fee Schedule for Clinical Testing and Newborn Screening, as well as Chemical Analyses, from TAC. Additionally, rule §73.41 will be amended to direct stakeholders to the LSS website to view the most current laboratory fee schedule.

Changes to the Laboratory’s Public Fee Schedule will be made based on the business needs of the LSS and the public health needs of the department and posted on the Laboratory’s website for stakeholder review. Changes to available laboratory testing and related pricing may include implementing new testing methodologies, updating fees to reflect the cost of testing, and eliminating certain low volume tests to make more efficient use of staff time and to reduce costs. Any increase in fees may include processes for stakeholder input as well as customer communication regarding all changes to the fee schedule.

A full draft of the proposed rule changes may be found in the draft rules section here. https://hhs.texas.gov/laws-regulations/policies-rules/health-human-services-rulemaking

For questions or comments please contact Martha Thompson at martha.thompson@dshs.texas.gov or 

(512) 776-6191 by August 31, 2018.

Posted August 20, 2018  


Register now for our FREE webinar “The Antibiotic Resistance Laboratory Network (ARLN) In Texas” - July 17

Date: July 17, 2018
Time: 2-3:30pm CST

This intermediate-level course describes the CDC’s ARLN activities in Texas. It provides an overview of important pathogens, antibiotic resistance mechanisms, laboratory testing capabilities, and isolate submission criteria. Case studies are used to describe the epidemiological investigation processes and the application of CDC antimicrobial resistance containment strategies in healthcare facilities.

Course Objectives:

  • Identify the goals of the CDC’s Antibiotic Resistance Laboratory Network (ARLN)
  • Describe the significance of detecting mechanisms of resistance
  • Explain the investigation process once an ARLN alert is received
  • Define the ARLN isolate submission criteria
  • List the pathogens and resistance characterized by ARLN testing

Speakers:
Annie Nutt, MPH, CIC
Thi Dang, MPH, CHES, CIC
Gillian Blackwell, BSN, RN, CIC
Alesha Stewart, PhD

Register online.

Continuing Education:

Continuing education credit/contact hours for this event are provided by The Texas Department of State Health Services, Continuing Education Service and include the following:

Continuing Nursing Education:
The Texas Department of State Health Services, Continuing Education Service is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. The Texas Department of State Health Services, Continuing Education Service has awarded 1.5 contact hour(s) of Continuing Nursing Education.

Social Workers:
The Texas Department of State Health Services, Continuing Education Service under sponsor number CS3065 has been approved by the Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners (https://dshs.texas.gov/socialwork) to offer continuing education contact hours to social workers. The approved status of The Texas Department of State Health Services, Continuing Education Service expires annually on December 31. The Texas Department of State Health Services, Continuing Education Service has awarded 1.5 contact hour(s) of Continuing Social Work Education.

Certified Health Education Specialists:
Sponsored by The Texas Department of State Health Services, Continuing Education Service, a designated provider of continuing education contact hours (CECH) in health education by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. This program is designated for Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES) and/or Master Certified Health Education Specialists (MCHES) to receive up to 1.5 total entry-level Category I contact education contact hours.

Certified in Public Health
On 10/18/2017 the Texas Department of State Health Services, Continuing Education Service was awarded multi-event provider status (ID #1360) by the National Board of Public Health Examiners to award CPH continuing education credits. This activity has been awarded 1.5 credits.

Certificate of Attendance:
The Texas Department of State Health Services, Continuing Education Service has designated 1.5 hour(s) for attendance.

P.A.C.E.
Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is approved as a provider of continuing education programs in the clinical laboratory sciences by the ASCLS P.A.C.E. ® Program. This program is approved for 1.5 contact hours.

Posted 7/06/2018


DSHS Requests for Clinical Laboratories to Ship All Cyclospora Positive Stool Specimens to DSHS Lab - Austin

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is collaborating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on a project to identify and validate genotyping tools that could be beneficial in linking cases of cyclosporiasis in outbreak investigations. DSHS is requesting that clinical laboratories send all appropriate Cyclospora positive stool specimens to the DSHS Laboratory in Austin for molecular analysis. Review the DSHS letter for more information about this project and how to submit specimens.

Posted 6/27/2018


Clinical and Public Health Laboratory Partnership to Stop the Spread of CRE and Drug-Resistant Candida Webinar - April 25

On Wednesday, April 25, experts from CDC’s Antibiotic Resistance Laboratory Network (ARLN) will host a webinar to discuss the new nationwide testing available to clinical and public health laboratorians to rapid detect antibiotic resistant threats like carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) and Candida auris.

The ARLN provides every state with advanced testing—such as susceptibility, molecular detection of resistance genes, and sequencing—for healthcare, community, and food isolates.

Join the webinar to hear more about the available testing and what isolates your lab can submit for further characterization. Panelists will also share how the ARLN successfully identified, for example, CRE infections and helped contain spread in a clinical facility.  

REGISTER TODAY!

Clinical and Public Health Laboratory Partnership to Stop the Spread of CRE and Drug-Resistant Candida

Wednesday, April 25 at 2 p.m. EDT

Register: https://www.pathlms.com/asm/courses/7198

Attend and earn 1.0 P.A.C.E.® credit!

Panelists include:

  • Maroya Walters, PhD, Epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • David Warshauer, PhD, D(ABMM), Deputy Director Communicable Diseases at the Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene
  • Massimo Pacilli, MS, MPH, C(ASCP), Manager of Quality Assurance, Laboratory Liaison at the West Side Center for Disease Control; City of Chicago 

The conversation will be moderated by Carey-Ann Burnham, PhD, D(ABMM),Associate Professor, Pathology & Immunology at Washington University School of Medicine.

Please register and share this invitation with laboratory colleagues who would benefit from learning about this nationwide antibiotic resistance testing.

Please send any questions about submitting CRE and Candida auris samples in Texas to TexasARLN@dshs.texas.gov .

Posted 4/24/2018


Laboratory Holiday Closure Notice: Christmas and New Year 2017

Posted 12/8/2017


Laboratory Holiday Closure Notice: Thanksgiving 2017

Posted 11/13/2017


Last updated August 20, 2018