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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).
January 26, 2015 6:00 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

As professional data collectors, lab techs are poor data collectors, at least when it comes to quality assurance. I'm not sure why this is. It could be a flaw in the collection method, distractions that take priority, measurement interference with the process, or a combination of factors.

For example, we tried to collect data on how many hemolyzed samples we received collected by the ED. Easy, right? Create ...

January 23, 2015 4:37 PM by Michael Jones of ADVANCE Discourse: Lab

While the Ebola outbreak continues to impact much of West Africa, it appears to be starting to fade at last. According to a recent article in the New York Times, healthcare companies GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Merck have will be introducing vaccines ...

January 21, 2015 5:58 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

One of my management resolutions will be easy to keep in 2015, because it's already happening: fewer meetings. The monthly, boring department meeting is so entrenched in corporate culture it's difficult to imagine work without it. But once gone people don't miss it.

The New York Times offers ...

January 16, 2015 6:01 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

A work culture defines how things are done. Susan Heathfield defines this as a workplace personality - a good definition - writing it "is made up of the values, beliefs, underlying assumptions, attitudes, and behaviors shared by a group of people. Culture is the behavior that results when a group arrives ...

January 12, 2015 5:16 PM by Irwin Rothenberg of CRI Lab Quality Advisor

The development of personalized medicine holds the promise of radically changing the practice of medicine from reactive to proactive. Historically, medical treatment was initiated as a response to the symptomatic onset of diseases -- and, because we haven't fully understood the genetic and environmental factors that cause diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's and diabetes, our efforts to treat ...

January 12, 2015 6:03 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

Many years ago when I was taught to run a Monospot, I was instructed in the fine art of rotating the card in a figure 8. The goal was to equally rotate the mixtures in all circles while scanning for agglutination. But in case that was too difficult, vendors marketed a slow-motion rotator that did the same thing. That was progress for the time: walk away serology.

I doubt any of those mixers are still ...


 For several years now there has been talk about a doctorate in Medical Laboratory Science (DCLS). This idea was advanced by ...

January 7, 2015 6:03 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

As a profession, we are used to having the answers: glucose values, compatible units of blood, pathogens in a urine culture. As simple as this seems to outsiders who see lab techs as mere button pushers, we know there is a lot of judgment involved. In many cases "the answer" is ambiguous or at least far from simple. We have to answer, "Does it matter what it is?"

For example, a few weeks ago our micro techs ...

January 6, 2015 10:41 AM by David Plaut of David Plaut: Off the Cuff

Myocardial infarction (MI) is the leading cause of death in the developed world. Biomarkers ...

January 2, 2015 6:20 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

Merriam Webster defines career as "a job or profession that someone does for a long time," a traditional definition related to one's vocation or life's work. But the website Dictionary.com adds a more general "a person's progress or general course ...


In casual conversation we use the terms cost, price and value almost interchangeably. That might seem to be just semantics, but I think we send mixed messages or act inappropriately when we start believing these concepts are identical.

December 29, 2014 6:04 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

Time lists these commonly forgotten resolutions: lose weight and get fit, quit smoking, learn something new,eat healthier and diet, get out of debt and save money, spend more time with family, travel to new places, be less stressed, volunteer, and drink less. That's a pretty good wish list ...


Think about the people you know professionally; and most likely the majority are also laboratorians. That seems logical because you interact with colleagues at work. Maybe you belong to a local professional group or even a national membership organization. You might even know the majority ...

December 28, 2014 11:02 AM by David Plaut of David Plaut: Off the Cuff

During a 12 month period, Villemain et al. analysed 102 patients. Final diagnosis was NSTEMI ...


The year is winding down and it is traditional to start looking forward to the next year. This is the time of year when we traditionally start thinking about what changes we will make in the New Year.

December 24, 2014 6:04 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

I've worked many Christmases, like most lab techs. Someone has to, right? It isn't all bad, either. Some techs prefer to work Christmas because they might celebrate the holiday on a different day. In other labs the noobs get stuck with Christmas, which really isn't fair. In our lab all the holidays are rotated, and the techs are free to swap.

Here are some random memories of Christmas past:

When ...


As we come towards the end of the year several publications generate lists, perform annual reviews and select the most newsworthy items for that year. One eagerly anticipated "contest"  every year is the Time Magazine Person of the Year (POTY).

December 19, 2014 6:04 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

One of our more common complaints is that we didn't do the correct test. We missed a test because it was not seen, illegible, or written on the back of a two-sided form; we assumed an abbreviation meant something unintended by the physician; we entered an order incorrectly into our information system. In very few cases do we forget to perform a test or perform it incorrectly. It's always GIGO: garbage in, garbage ...

December 17, 2014 9:52 AM by Irwin Rothenberg of CRI Lab Quality Advisor

One of the inevitable experiences of managing a workforce is dealing with difficult employees. In the broadest sense, we mean those who have demonstrated a lack of responsible behavior; but in a laboratory, where the continuum of work goes well beyond specimen testing (analytical) to include interaction and communication with the public (pre and post-analytical) ...

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

Hematuria, or blood in the urine, is distinct from microhematuria. The latter isn't visible to the naked eye and is detected under the microscope. (The prefix micro is from the Greek mikros, meaning "small.")

It isn't unusual in urinalysis to see a clear urine with microscopic red cells. Microhematuria ...

December 11, 2014 5:23 PM by Michael Jones of ADVANCE Discourse: Lab

In the age of readily available genetic sequencing, the overabundance of data has been noted around the globe. As big data solutions become more common and diverse, the concept of data sharing has been a focal point of discussions regarding the future of research. A recent release from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced ...


Bigger is not always better, it turns out. It seems our appliances, gadgets and instruments are getting smaller; ...

December 10, 2014 6:07 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

It's becoming harder and harder to see what I used to take for granted. I've always been nearsighted and worn glasses since age ten. I've never thought twice about it until a few years ago. Myopia (nearsightedness) is caused by an image focusing in front of the retina because the eyeball is too long, the cornea or lens are too curved, or a combination of these factors.



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.