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ADVANCE for Laboratory is thrilled to welcome you to DeLABerations: A Medium for Lab Professionals and Managers, part of the Healthcare POV: Blog and Forum Community from ADVANCE. Our blogs tackle timely questions, offer advice and opinions about the laboratory field and connect professionals nationwide. We have provided tags to assist in locating topics of interest, a profile page to make uniquely your own and a list of our most active posts to keep you abreast of the latest discussions. We look forward to hearing more about your field from your Point of View (POV).
July 28, 2014 12:01 PM by Eleanor Wolfram of The Power of Two

As a life-long benefit of your high school language requirement, surely you recognize the English version of one or more of these foreign questions: Sprechen Sie deutsch? (German); Parlez-vous francais? (French); and Habla usted espanol? (Spanish).

Aside from being able to order a meal or ask directions when one travels to foreign lands, neurologists have found that bilingualism is also helpful to aphasia sufferers. ...

July 28, 2014 11:55 AM by Irwin Rothenberg of CRI Lab Quality Advisor

By Irwin Rothenberg and Nancy Alers

In recent years, the concept of quality monitoring for laboratory testing has broadened beyond quality control focused on the analytic phase, to encompass the entire spectrum of the testing process from the physician's order through the final report.  The impetus for this has been the realization that "up to 70% of all errors made in laboratory testing occurs ...

July 28, 2014 11:53 AM by David Plaut of David Plaut: Off the Cuff

I recently was asked to comment on the following series of troponin values from a general hospital:

Day  Time  Troponin 1 
 1  1325  2.6
 1  1724  2.4

July 28, 2014 6:01 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

Laboratories revise a test menu based on clinical need or cost. The common "bread and butter" tests I blogged about last time are easy to decide on and often performed on analyzers with volume discounts. But in many cases estimating the volume of tests to be performed can make the decision for us. In other words, is it cheaper to make or buy? Do we bring a test in house or send it out?

Ideally, a test ...



I recently saw a discussion on a Medical Laboratory page on a popular social networking site. Someone started off a thread detailing an encounter with a nurse in which a request ...

July 23, 2014 10:13 AM by Eleanor Wolfram of The Power of Two

As the weather heats up due to seasonal changes, professional and amateur swimmers from Arizona to Zimbabwe will be stripping down to swimwear to begin the water splashing ritual. I can't think of anyone who doesn't like a dip in the crisp clear waters.

But beware, because the CDC has issued alerts that emergency room visits for injuries form pool chemicals is on the rise. The CDC notes that beginning 2012, there ...

July 23, 2014 6:05 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

The bread and butter of labs are those tests ordered on most patients: chemistry panels, blood counts, urinalysis and culture, and to an extent coagulation and blood bank. These are often ordered serially on patients admitted to your hospital, creating a cumulative report of laboratory values. As professionals we tend to be most productive and competent performing these tests, or at least operating the instruments ...

July 21, 2014 11:00 AM by David Plaut of David Plaut: Off the Cuff

Iron deficiency (ID) is relatively common among the elderly population, contributing substantially to the high prevalence of anemia observed in the last decades of life, which in turn has important implications both on quality of life and on survival. In elderly subjects, ID is often multifactorial (i.e., due to multiple concurring causes, including inadequate dietary intake or absorption, occult bleeding, medications). ...

July 21, 2014 10:58 AM by Eleanor Wolfram of The Power of Two

Healthy collaboration brings industry experts together to help businesses achieve their missions. When you collaborate with the right partners, the results will exceed your expectations. For example, a meaningful collaboration that is occurring is that of cardiovascular medicine and a federal regulatory authority, namely the FDA.

For close to 20 years, many professionals and laypersons have pushed forth ...

July 18, 2014 3:36 PM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

I blogged about "the cloud" in 2010: "If you're using any applications that run in your web browser over the Internet, you're using cloud computing." While our hospital still uses aging Microsoft Office software and local storage the world has moved up.

And I've been writing in the cloud ...

July 16, 2014 12:49 PM by David Plaut of David Plaut: Off the Cuff

The human gut is home to trillions of microbes (the intestinal microbiota) that form a symbiotic relationship with the human host. During health, this intestinal microbiota provides many benefits to the host and is generally resistant to colonization by new species; however, disruption of this complex community can lead to pathogen invasion, inflammation, and disease.

Restoration and maintenance of a healthy ...

July 16, 2014 12:33 PM by Eleanor Wolfram of The Power of Two

A philosophical unknown author is recorded as saying, "Gray hair is a blessing-ask any bald man." How true, though many men including male celebrities opt for the clean shaved head, many still crave the fashion of shiny and thick tresses.

As life scientists, we are all well aware of the biological importance of hair. Hair shades the head and keeps the scalp cool from extreme heated temperatures; hair protects ...

July 14, 2014 2:40 PM by Kerri Penno of ADVANCE Discourse: Lab

In public comments presented to the CMS today, the American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA) provided input on various aspects of implementing relevant provisions of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 ("PAMA"), which modifies the Medicare reimbursement rate methodology for lab services. 

"ACLA supports a measured and thoughtful analysis as well as robust ...

July 14, 2014 11:47 AM by David Plaut of David Plaut: Off the Cuff

Quorum sensing (QS) is a bacterial communication process that depends on the bacterial population density. It involves small diffusible signaling molecules which activate the expression of myriad genes that control a diverse array of functions including virulence. Quorum sensing is a process of cell-cell communication that allows bacteria to share information about cell density and adjust gene expression ...

July 14, 2014 11:44 AM by Eleanor Wolfram of The Power of Two

Reality is a unique concept to each and every individual. Our perceptions dictate to us what is real. But just because we see a thing a certain way does not make it so. I think this quote best sums it the point: "The real voyage of discovery is not is seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." Proust.

Healthcare professionals are taking expeditions to new ...

July 14, 2014 6:03 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

I read a lot of resumes, and most are awful.

I recently interviewed a candidate, for example, who waxed eloquent during the interview about how he valued great customer service. He gave examples, talked about involving line staff, insisted that people needed to talk to each other to get things done. Yet his resume didn't contain the words "customer service." It looked generic, as though he had prepared ...

July 10, 2014 3:01 PM by Michael Jones of ADVANCE Discourse: Lab

Researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Harvard Medical School recently discovered a connection between a form of liver cancer and two mutations in the IDH gene. Intrahepatic cholangiocarinoma (iCCA) is the second most common form of liver cancer. Although there had previously been evidence of IDH mutations in patients with iCCA, this study marks ...

July 9, 2014 11:46 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

What started out attached to a desktop personal computer is everywhere. Keyboards are attached to computer terminals, COWs (Computers on Wheels), and many instruments. Yet little has changed in their design (more about that below). They are big, bulky, clunky, difficult to clean, and hard to adapt to a traditional laboratory setting designed for paper.

The OSHA Computer Workstations e-tool

July 8, 2014 11:49 AM by Eleanor Wolfram of The Power of Two

Not only is diabetes a complicated disease, it is a confusing disease as well. This week I read a series of conflicting epidemiology research reports, where on one hand the studies report that diabetes-related complications have declined. But on the other hand there are reports stating that the diabetes illness is rising in at an alarming rate.

What's behind the research inconsistencies?

I am thinking that ...


I do not often repeat posts, blog or articles. However I have received several requests for a repost of this blog. One kind reader from Massachusets wrote, "That is the singular most emotional call I have read in a while. Please reprint on July 4th. Do not just refer ...

July 4, 2014 6:39 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

According to a Rand Corporation report about half of U.S. employers offer wellness programs. The bigger the employer, the bigger the program, many of which include risk assessments. Despite evidence that wellness is associated with lower healthcare costs and use, less than half of employees undergo screening or participate.

Our ...

July 1, 2014 11:29 AM by Irwin Rothenberg of CRI Lab Quality Advisor

By Irwin Rothenberg and Nancy Alers

When a laboratory report must be corrected, and the amended results are sent to the ordering physician, questions may be raised regarding the quality of the laboratory work; the proper operation of the instrumentation involved; the competency of the testing staff, and whether the laboratory director or technical consultant/supervisor were fulfilling their oversight ...

June 30, 2014 6:03 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

Remarkably, 54 million Americans have been bullied at some point in their careers, either peer to peer or from a boss. Writes author Sherri Gordon in About, "Many times people don't even realize that their boss is bullying them. Instead, they falsely believe that their boss is just tough or pushes his workers ...



Glen McDaniel, MS, MBA, MT, CLS will encourage dialogue among clinical laboratorians, with the ultimate goal of not simply to commiserate, but to empower readers into full, rewarding practice; not simply to survive, but to thrive.

David Plaut, a chemist and statistician in Plano, TX, provides his unique perspective on hot topics within the clinical lab industry.

Join Scott Warner, MLT(ASCP), in exploring and sharing solutions. Scott's goal is to not just save time and effort but to also develop a team that discovers its own laboratory success.

The ADVANCE for Administrators of the Laboratory editorial staff will offer personal perspectives on issues in the clinical laboratory field and current healthcare environment.

The Politics of Healthcare covers the latest developments in healthcare policy and legislation.

This staff blog focuses on good news and exciting events throughout the lab industry.

COLA experts share their field experiences, insights and suggested resources to assist laboratories achieve a culture of quality patient care.

Eleanor Wolfram, MS, uncovers the benefits and mishaps that occur when the field of clinical laboratory science is combined with other industries, such as engineering, manufacturing or technology.