2016 CRB Symposium
The 20th Annual CRB Symposium was held this past May at the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas Nevada
The program began with two optional half-day workshops. The first workshop was directed by Drs. David and Sharon Mortimer. It focused on quality in the ART laboratory and how to use data to improve outcomes.
The second workshop was directed by Ms. Lisa Rinehart, RN, JD. It focused on strategies to decrease risk and liability in the ART practice. Many constructive group exercises were led by Ms. Rinehart.
The symposium, themed Quality in ART, was robust with many great speakers, many from outside the normal laboratory template.
The program was focused on ways to improve quality in every practice. It was highlighted by our Keynote Speaker Sten Westgard of Westgard QC. Mr. Westgard detailed how the “Westgard Rules” can be applied in the ART laboratory.
Brad Stroud, DVM, PhD gave a great presentation on "The Science of Thermal Exposure: Damage to Frozen Semen, Embryos, Oocytes and Other Reproductive Cells." This was followed up by a very informative talk entitled: "The Proper and Improper Handling of Frozen Semen, Embryos, Oocytes and Other Reproductive Cells." Both presentations generated great discussion.
Bruce Shapiro, MD shared his knowledge with two presentations. “Has the time come for a freeze all strategy in ART?” and “Convincing patients that an eSET strategy is good for them.” Most ART programs are experienced with the patient goal of twins, so tools for convincing them otherwise are always a valuable contribution.
We jumped into informatics and IT with John Rinehart, MD, reviewing relevant trends in big data both in business and medicine. His presentation drove home the point that big data analysis is the next frontier as he elaborated on connectivity and related big data to personalized medicine and bioinformatics. Brian Levine, MD, gave an entertaining presentation on IT for IVF. He reviewed the pros and cons of portables vs. tablets as well as apps to improve efficiency within a practice. Lisa Rinehart, RN, JD, followed up with the very informative presentation “Electronic Data Usage & EMRs in the ART Laboratory: A Legal Perspective."
We transitioned into some serious quality assurance/quality improvement talks with “The Need for TQM to Improve Standards in the Andrology Laboratory” and “KPIs and Benchmarking” by David Mortimer, PhD, and “Systemization as the Basis for Quality” by Sharon Mortimer, PhD.
"Troubleshooting: It Isn’t Always That Easy, Real World Disaster Preparedness for the ART Laboratory and Laboratory Compliance – Details, Details, Details" rounded out the program.
Roundtable luncheons were hosted on Thursday by fellow scientists and CRB members with many interesting topics including "Day 7 Culture and Assisted Conception Methods for HIV+ Serodiscordant Couples – How to Design and Manage Various Aspects of the Program." On Friday, roundtables were hosted by vendors. These luncheon roundtables provided vendors with an opportunity to present scientific data related to their products. Many topics were centered on PGS testing and the differences between technologies. With the explosion of PGS platforms, these roundtables were a hot ticket.
There were numerous oral and poster presentations. Awards were given to the best oral and poster abstracts. The best oral abstract was presented by J. Franasiak et al: “Uterine Natural Killer Cell Immunoglobulin Receptor (KIR) Genotypes and Trophoblastic Human Leukocyte Antigen C (HLA-C) Ligands Influence Risk of Pregnancy Loss: Data from Euploid Transfers” and the best poster abstract was presented by C. Dowling et al: “Deferring Embryo Transfer of Morula and Early Blastocysts on Day 5 Improves Implantation Rates When These Embryos are Cultured to Day 6, Vitrified at Advanced Stage and Transferred after Warming in Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) Cycle."
Overall, the program was very well received with many interactive presentations and group discussions. If you were not able to make it in 2016, plan on joining the CRB in 2017 in Houston, Texas!
Carli Chapman, ELD/TS (ABB)
CRB- Past President
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