SSCC Scientific Working Groups
President of the Scientific Board : Prof. Dr. Nicolas Vuilleumier

Formation and FAMH Commission Dr. Olivier Boulat
Molecular Diagnostics (web)
Prof. Dr. Martin Hersberger
Mass Spectrometry
Dr. Pierre-Alain Binz
Medicaments Prof. Dr. Katharina Rentsch
Post Analytics
Dr. Olivier Boulat
Prof. Dr. Martin Fiedler
Quality Control
Dr. Reto Savoca
Fähigkeitsausweis Praxislabor (FAPL/ AFC-LP)
Dagmar Kesseler
Swiss Group for Inborn Errors of Metabolism (SGIEM) 
PD Dr med Jean-Marc Nuoffer
DRG / Diagnostische Pfade 
Prof. Dr. Arnold von Eckardstein

Description and activities of the SSCC scientific working groups

Formation and FAMH Commission
Olivier Boulat (chair), Martin Hersberger, Jean-Luc Magnin, Katharina Rentsch, Lorenz Risch, Arnold von Eckardstein, Nicolas Vuilleumier
The working group represents the Swiss Society of Clinical Chemistry in the FAMH commission responsible for the formation of professionals in laboratory medicine. The FAMH commission organizes the entry and final exams for trainees in laboratory medicine FAMH, decides on the recognition of courses in laboratory medicine for the formation and for continuing education, is responsible for the recognition of laboratories as training institutions, and evaluates the equivalence of any foreign formation in laboratory medicine to the Swiss formation.

Molecular Diagnostics
Martin Hersberger (chair), Carlo Largiadèr, Friedrich Maly, Beat Thöny  
The working group organizes the yearly continous education symposium "MOLECULAR DIAGNOSTICS". This symposium held in English is aimed at laboratory managers, candidates for the diploma as a laboratory manager (FAMH) and other interested parties of laboratory medicine and clinical medicine, as well as to students and staff of medical laboratories. The aim is to present Molecular Diagnostics in the context of indication, modern technical realization and clinical interpretation (

Mass Spectrometry
Pierre-Alain Binz (chair), Cédric Bovet, Marco Cantù, Marc Fathi, Daniel Müller, Katharina Rentsch, Michel Rossier
The goals of the Mass Spectrometry (MS) working group are: 1) to organise courses in mass spectrometry  to share knowledge on the possibilities and use of the technology in Laboratory Medicine; 2) to inform about the analyses processed in Switzerland that use Mass Spectrometry as analytical tool; a growing list of laboratories is made available on the website of the SSCC; 3) to keep contact and exchange experience with similar activities  in other countries.

Katharina Rentsch (chair), Daniela Buhl, Chin Eap, Marc Fathi, Daniel Müller, Wolfgang Thormann, Dominique Werner
The goals of the working group "Medicaments" are: 1) To assemble different pharmacokinetic and pre-analytical data on the commonly measured drugs in the context; 2) to organise meeting on therapeutic drug monitoring; 3) to keep contact and exchange experience on therapeutic drug monitoring and clinical toxicology within Switzerland and abroad.

Post Analytics
Daniel Bardy, Olivier Boulat (chair), Roberto Della Bruna, Olivier Golaz, Jean-Luc Magnin, Jürgen Muser, Charly Nusbaumer, Michel Rossier, Véronique Viette, Nicolas Vuilleumier
The main goal of the group is to promote the harmonization of 1) terminology and 2) practices for a) validation and b) reporting results in the swiss clinical chemistry laboratories.
Since 2011 the groupe has been working on:
1) Automatic validation of quantitative results
2) Expressing reference values and clinical thresholds when reporting quantitative results
3) Harmonization of critical result management
4) Reporting eGFR
The recommendation documents published by the WG: are available from the Publications page.

Martin Fiedler (Chair), Roman Fried, Alexander Leichtle, Reto Savoca
Preanalytical factors have a huge impact on the quality of laboratory results. Therefore, the standardisation of preanalytical processes is of paramount importance for the quality assurance in laboratory medicine.

The main topics of this working group are:
-Identification and evaluation of relevant preanalytical interferences
-Implementation of a preanalytical external quality assurance scheme
-Analysis of special preanalytical factors in biobanking
-Development of standard protocols for high quality sample preparation and storage in biobanks
-Preparing of presentations for the continuing education of physicians, nurses and laboratory technicians

The working group is in close contact with the working group “Extraanalytische Qualitätssicherung” of the German society DGKL

Quality Control
Reto Savoca (chair), Roman Fried, Viola Günther, Dagmar Kesseler, Hans-Rudolf Kuhn, Remy Sitterle
The working group is engaged in the actualisation of the guideline for internal quality control by the QUALAB. It works out suggestions for new analyses to be submitted to external quality control and is also involved in the revision of the limits of acceptance for external and internal quality control. If needed, new limits of acceptance are elaborated and proposed to the QUALAB. Finally if a technical question from the QUALAB arises, this group is prepared to do the background work and to provide possible answers.

Fähigkeitsausweis Praxislabor KHM / Attestation de formation complémentaire pour la pratique du laboratoire au cabinet médical CMPR (FAPL/AFC-LP)
Dagmar Kesseler (chair), Jürgen Muser, Olivier Boulat, Lorenz Risch
In order to promote a standardised knowledge on quality assurance within the laboratory of the practitioner, the FMH contracting partner of QUALAB ensures a post-graduate training for doctors which offer laboratory analyses. The task was delegated to a commission of the College of physicians from primary care KHM/CMPR (composed of representatives of scientific societies SSCC, SSH, SSM and delegates of the FMH, SSP, SMI, SMG). They developed a training programme and meet on a regular schedule to guarantee an “unité de doctrine” between the different Swiss centres offering the course. The training consists of an e-learning course with a self-assessment on an online-platform, followed by two days of special courses in microbiology, haematology, clinical chemistry and urine diagnosis (incl. microscopy) with theoretical and practical work.
Since 2017, this course is mandatory for all physicians who want to perform laboratory medicine tests in their praxis. The certification is automatically renewed based on a regular participation on external quality assessments.

Swiss Group for Inborn Errors of Metabolism (SGIEM)
Jean-Marc Nuoffer (chair), Matthias Baumgartner (Secretary), Diana Ballhausen, Ilse Kern, Peter Jacobs
This group comprises Scientists, Physicians and nutritionists from all of the Swiss Centres involved in provision of laboratory and clinical services for inherited metabolic disorders, mainly from the University Children's Hospitals of Basel, Bern, Geneva, Lausanne and Zürich, now with ca. 30 members. We are concerned with all issues related to IEMs and meet formally twice a year. Current issues which are sometimes addressed in depth in working groups include the networking of laboratory services and patient management, recommendations regarding newborn screening, development of common approaches to treatment, care of patients with lysosomal storage disorders and efforts to guarantee payment of laboratory analyses and special treatment products by health insurance organisations.
Two relevant articles have been published in Paediatrica, one on the activities of our group (Paediatrica Vol. 19 No. 2 2008, p 59) the other on Recommendations about the use of tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) in phenylketonuric (PKU) patients in Switzerland (Paediatrica Vol. 21 No. 5 2010 p 37).
A major educational activity is our half-day annual meeting open to a broader group of professionals from Switzerland and neighbouring countries with local and international speakers, held since 2004 and attended by 60 -90 persons. Topics we have covered include: Genetic connective tissue disorders; Metabolic and Genetic networks; Mitochondrial disorders in children; Brain disorders and defects of Vitamin B12 metabolism; Amino acids, ammonia, creatine and  the developing brain; Future of newborn screening in Switzerland; Inborn errors affecting the liver; Inborn errors of metabolism in adults.

DRG / Diagnostische Pfade
Arnold von Eckardstein (chair), Tiziano Balmelli, Daniela Buhl, Willi Conrad, Andreas Huber, Wolfgang Korte, Jürgen Muser, Brigitte Walz
With the 2nd revision of the Swiss KVG in 2007, the reimbursement of hospital treatments was announced to be put on a new basis by applying the DRG system in Switzerland from 2012. 
In 2009 the Swiss Society of Clinical Chemistry (SGKC) founded a working group DRG intending to prepare laboratories to work under conditions of DRG financing in the hospitals. The members of the working group DRG decided to develop diagnostic pathways for the detection and differentiation of clinical questions. Based on existing recommendations these pathways should be structured to be used as a basis for implementation into hospital and laboratory information systems in the future.
Regular meetings of the working group take place to discuss and summarize the experience of the group members as well as to guarantee an “unité de doctrine” between the different Swiss laboratory centres involved in the establishment of the pathways. Decision was made to ask experienced clinicians (e.g. from the corresponding scientific societies) to give input to the pathways under development. The first diagnostic pathways concerning renal diseases were published in 2011. Further pathways are in process.