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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).
LATEST POSTS FROM EACH BLOG
November 21, 2014 6:07 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

Every meeting takes at least an hour, not including prep, finish, and homework time. Many meetings run over. They are, as Charlie Kim describes in the Huffington Post, red wine discussions (might as well drink, because nothing will be accomplished) or lectures (why attend at all?).

I've ...


 
November 20, 2014 11:12 PM by Eleanor Wolfram of The Power of Two

The sport of boxing teaches people to be strong physically and mentally. Boxing teaches the skill of how to take a punch and not turn to run away when you see the menacing glove approaching your bare face. This sport reinforces the underline meaning of the physiological hormonal "fight or flight" response.

Well ...


 
November 18, 2014 1:08 PM by Eleanor Wolfram of The Power of Two

When a sports team has possession of the football, it can score points in several ways, such as field goals and touchdowns. It seems that a group of international scientists has just recently uncovered a genetic mechanism that controls the Streptococcus pneumonia, which causes infections which could lead to death

The bacterium pathogen Pneumococcal can be ...


 
November 17, 2014 6:03 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

One size fits all is an advertising gimmick, but we all know it isn't true. Shelves are too high, microscopes are too low, and there is never enough room for paper. But the reality of our workspace is that it has to be designed to fit most people. This can be difficult in today's laboratories.

For example, according ...


 

 

Just a few short weeks ago, Ebola was the talk of the town. Both the lay public and healthcare professionals seemed consumed with the topic. Entire cottage industries were born to supply Ebola-proof personal protective equipment (PPE) and ...


2 comments  
November 13, 2014 11:46 PM by Eleanor Wolfram of The Power of Two

Antifreeze has worn many faces, both positive and negative. On the positive side, it is used across the globe as a liquid used to cool engines. However there has been occasion where this chemical was viewed from the negative of poisoning.

For example, my first acquaintance with the negative side ...


 
November 13, 2014 11:51 AM by Irwin Rothenberg of CRI Lab Quality Advisor

In the previous blog, we discussed the factors that make one shift different from another, and how an awareness of these differences is important for the proper management of the workload and staffing for these shifts.  Since each shift is part of the continuum of the lab operation for that day, when chronic problems are happening on a particular shift, it is important to determine if the ...


 
November 12, 2014 6:44 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

Our tendency to comment results with disclaimers is strong. Examples:

  • Reporting pathogens in a urine culture with many skin flora and adding "possible contamination"
  • Reporting a potassium on a hemolyzed sample and adding "hemolysis may increase results"
  • Reporting a WBC differential and adding "fibrin strands seen on peripheral smear"

There are a few schools of ...


 
November 11, 2014 10:26 PM by Eleanor Wolfram of The Power of Two

Coffee manufacturers and healthcare researchers have shared a long and happy relationship discovering the multiple benefits of the coffee bean. But who would have ever thought that the genetic DNA codes of A, T, C and G would share an equally made-in-heaven relationship with coffee as well? Molecular scientists and psychiatrists are collaboratively seeking to answer the ...


 

My dad was so proud of the fact that he worked for the same employer for 40+ years. He was never late, was rarely sick and sometimes went to work despite the fact he was under the weather. He thought he was indispensable and that his employer ...


 
November 7, 2014 6:01 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

Do you remember other kids eating dirt when you were young? It was commonplace to make mud pies, jump in puddles, and put tadpoles in pockets. We all played outside in dirt and grime, bit fingernails, ate baloney and cheese sandwiches without hand washing, drank from the garden hose, and played on the floor in retail stores. It never occurred to any of us that we could get sick, and if we'd been told we all would ...


 
November 6, 2014 2:14 PM by Eleanor Wolfram of The Power of Two

Many years ago in a biochemistry course, the professor proposed this question: If, when in crowded situations, humans act differently -- is the same true of biochemical reactions occurring in crowded intercellular spaces? Social scientists have long known that people act and react differently in large crowds, often unfavorably (i.e. riots), hence ...


 
November 4, 2014 11:48 AM by Eleanor Wolfram of The Power of Two

Who hasn't heard of the "Clapper"? It is a sound activated on/off device that can switch off electric lights and appliances simply by clapping ones hands. Well the researchers at the Salk Institute have discovered a biochemical clapper, in that they have uncovered an on/off switch aging cells. What's more they have the data to support that the on-and-off switch in cells that may actually hold ...


 
November 4, 2014 11:48 AM by David Plaut of David Plaut: Off the Cuff

Pre-analytical errors remain the most common source of errors that a hospital laboratory must deal with. Specimen rejection is one of the pre-analytical errors. These while rare (0.2% Ref. 1), they have significant results - patient discomfort, delays in correct sample and a high rate of specimen or test discarded.

In a recent study Karcher and Lehman ...


 
November 3, 2014 6:00 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

I once watched on television a fascinating experiment in which a stranger pretended to be sick on the street of a big city vs. a small town. City dwellers ignored the man, who lay on the ground writhing in pain, but almost everybody in the small town stopped to help. It's part of the magic in small towns, that our tribe is small, our interests are local, and our resources are limited. Most people are known by most ...


 

 

It seems that experiences always occur in groups. Recently I had 3 separate but similar experiences that made me decide ...


2 comments  
October 29, 2014 11:19 AM by David Plaut of David Plaut: Off the Cuff

I have seen data recently that indicate that some laboratories are not using their measured SDs (and sometimes means) for monitoring their QC. This can have two ramifications:

1) the QC will appear to be in control more often, saving time and trouble and

2) the analytical system may develop an error that could be missed ...


 
October 29, 2014 6:00 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

The latest personal protective equipment guidelines from the CDC for Ebola emphasize training in donning and doffing PPE, no skin exposure, and a buddy system to make sure the process is followed. As their site states, "Focusing only on PPE gives a false sense of security of safe care and worker ...


 
October 24, 2014 4:18 PM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

Data is what we do. From collection times to bread and butter lab test results to quality control to maintenance to report distribution and all that's in between, laboratories collect and document more data than more departments. One of the challenges in quality assurance is choosing what to measure.

The push from the QI (or whatever the acronym du jour is) mavens is to improve. Collect the data, make ...


 

It is extremely important to get back to basics in whatever we do. This simple edict is so often ignored because- well, because it is so basic. We tend to go for the complicated and glitzy. I thought about this truism when the CDC issued its new more rigorous guidelines this past Monday.


2 comments  
October 20, 2014 11:38 AM by Irwin Rothenberg of CRI Lab Quality Advisor

Have you noticed that when you work a different shift, it almost feels like you are working in a different lab? Whether we compare day/evening, evening/night or night/day interfaces, we often have different priorities, different responsibilities and different ways of communicating with our clients. The outside world views the laboratory as a cohesive operation, whether ...


 
October 20, 2014 6:01 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

A study at Michigan State University found that three second interruptions doubled error rates; longer distractions increased errors. Another study in Australia found that nurse ...


1 comments  
October 15, 2014 10:45 AM by Lynn Nace of ADVANCE Discourse: Lab

All of the phlebotomists are probably cringing at the term I used in the headline, but it seems germane considering the overwhelming number of comments the ADVANCE editorial staff has received since the launch of our 2014 Salary Survey.  (If you haven't yet completed the survey, time is running ...


25 comments  
October 15, 2014 10:40 AM by David Plaut of David Plaut: Off the Cuff

Upon emerging from the thymus, naive T cells circulate in the blood through lymph nodes and seek foreign ("nonself") antigens. T cells can recognize not only pathogen-associated antigens, but also abnormally expressed self-proteins-indicating mutated or transformed tumorigenic cells -- as "nonself." If T cells encounter their specific antigen in the context of appropriate co-stimulatory molecules, ...


 
October 15, 2014 6:03 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

The late oil well firefighter Red Adair said, "If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." During staffing shortages or budget crunches it can be expedient to hire a warm body but disastrous in the long run. Amateurs often don't know what they don't know, think they know more than they do, and lack an ability to self-correct behavior that all professionals possess. ...


2 comments  

ABOUT OUR BLOGS

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.