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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
July 15, 2016 6:20 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

For an industry that is frequently at the forefront of new technology in healthcare, laboratory workers can be among the most resistant to change. Computers coexist with paper; manual diffs are still done when automated counts are far superior; point of care technology is disdained as inferior to central lab testing.

But point of care testing is coming into its own. Indeed, as hinted at in a recent Advance ...


 
July 14, 2016 6:56 PM by Irwin Rothenberg of CRI Lab Quality Advisor

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a wireless, non-contact use of radio-frequency electromagnetic fields that transfer data for the purposes of automatically identifying and tracking tags containing electronically stored information attached to objects. An RFID system has two basic components: a reader and one or more uniquely identifiable tags. The reader can wirelessly interact with ...


 
July 5, 2016 1:52 PM by Stephanie Noblit of New to the Lab

I just found out recently that Jennifer Lawrence will play Elizabeth Holmes in a movie about Theranos.1  Now, I love Jennifer Lawrence and think she is a tremendous actress, but does a movie about Theranos really need to be made? In reality, we don't even know how this drama is going to play out, so what could possibly be written up in a script? 

The ...


1 comments  
July 1, 2016 6:20 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

These days it's all about change. I have heard a constant drumbeat for the last thirty years that change is the only constant we can count on. The only thing more constant than change is the need to cut costs. Now that laboratories are becoming cost centers in small hospitals and groups are recognizing the economies of scale in centralizing testing and developing formularies to cut costs, those two are intertwined.

In ...


 

 

I know our profession is unique and cannot be identically modeled off any other profession. However in both my personal and professional lives I often try to learn lessons ...


7 comments  
June 22, 2016 2:21 PM by Irwin Rothenberg of CRI Lab Quality Advisor

Two powerful forces have converged to change the practice of laboratory medicine in ways never imagined a generation ago. These twin forces are the movement to value-based healthcare from the fee-for-service model and the rapid development of mobile technology, allowing for continuous healthcare monitoring of patients beyond the clinical setting.

The central ...


 
June 18, 2016 6:40 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

Laboratories add comments to reports, some of which are informative e.g. CRITICAL VALUE REPEATED and others that are interpretive e.g. explaining the meaning and utility of the MDRD estimated GFR equation. It is the latter that brought me to this current question.

Most doctors have little or no idea how results are generated. I think they assume that professional, trained staff under the supervision of ...


 
May 31, 2016 6:41 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

These days it's all about shortages. Shortages of techs, shortages of patients, and shortages of money. In small hospitals there are fewer of us working with fewer patients for less money. Those who are working are older than the average worker, are wondering who is replacing them, and are tired of hearing about doing more with less when new technology requires people to test, validate, and perform the assays. This ...


4 comments  

A few months ago I went to the doctor with a friend.  The nice young lady taking my friend's vitals and medical history introduced herself as "Dr. O's nurse". I noticed her name badge read "RMA"- registered medical assistant. She was professional, ...


3 comments  
May 25, 2016 9:02 AM by Stephanie Noblit of New to the Lab

In April, one of my wonderful mentors, Rodney Rohde, PhD, MS, SV, SM(ASCP)CM, MBCM, and I co-wrote an article about removing the "hidden" aspect from the phrase "the hidden profession that saves lives" in honor of Medical Laboratory Professionals Week (


6 comments  
May 18, 2016 5:59 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

The CPT code 85004 (Blood count; automated differential WBC count) has many variations, each of which is charged instead of 85004 and including the work. These codes can be distinguished in the CPT code book, because they are indented. Examples:

  • 85007 (blood smear, microscopic examination with manual differential WBC count)
  • 85008 (blood smear, microscopic examination without manual differential ...

 
May 11, 2016 2:50 PM by Irwin Rothenberg of CRI Lab Quality Advisor

It appears that there is still some confusion among laboratory personnel in differentiating QC from QA, and that this uncertainty has been compounded by the introduction and implementation of the Individualized Quality Control Plan (IQCP). These are different concepts, and it is important to understand these differences-both from the practical standpoint of what you are trying to accomplish, ...


 
May 2, 2016 1:07 PM by Stephanie Noblit of New to the Lab

To work in the clinical laboratory profession is to be someone that upholds the highest standards of quality and patient safety, right? I think the majority of my colleagues would agree with that.

Working in our profession, we do have the ability to say honestly that we save lives every day, but ...


 
May 2, 2016 6:36 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

What is true for big labs eventually becomes true for small labs, mostly because volume discounts drive affordability. This is most recently true for PCR, a technology that has arrived in small laboratories for two platforms, the Meridian Illumigene ...


 

It's that time of year again, when we celebrate and acknowledge Medical Laboratory Professionals (technicians, scientists, specialists, pathologists and others).

I receive a lot of email and read several misleading posts about "Lab Week." So I am essentially reprinting a primer to share with colleagues. 

The American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS) website has a very ...


6 comments  
April 21, 2016 3:15 PM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

One of the phrases I hear lately is "we need to move the needle," meaning enough effort has to be put into change to not just make it stick, but change what matters. This might be customer satisfaction scores, test volumes, or cost containment.

If there's one thing that change has taught me, it's that no matter how much things change they seem to stay the same. The needle almost never moves.

I've ...


1 comments  
April 15, 2016 10:48 AM by Lindsey Nolen of ADVANCE Discourse: Lab

Playing an influential role in appearance throughout American society, the value aging adults place on deterring hair grayness remains great. Although the dyeing of hair color can mask this sign of aging, the potential for a scientific cure for this phenomenon has never before been presented - until now.

In an international study led by University College ...


 
April 13, 2016 4:59 PM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

One of the oft-quoted nuggets in The Elements of Style is "omit needless words." I've seen this rule praised and criticized with equal fervor. As a writer, pruning and trimming prose seems like a necessary path to clarity for the reader. It is also intensely personal and driven by one's own style. But in general, it's a good rule of thumb. If it takes 4 words to say the same thing in 15, use 4. (Have politicians ...


 
April 11, 2016 1:06 PM by Irwin Rothenberg of CRI Lab Quality Advisor

When we discuss all the changes that laboratories have to deal with-from technical and regulatory to evolving views of healthcare delivery and service expectations-we must include how these affect customer service. Customer service is involved in every phase of the laboratory operation; it is the face of the laboratory and, thus, reflects everything that is happening.

Specifically, ...


 
April 4, 2016 4:53 PM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

The laboratory is a unique clinical department. The possible tests and their associated billable codes that are routinely ordered day in and day out can number in the thousands or even tens of thousands. The big moving target is referral lab testing, which may change according to where it is forwarded, reflex testing, or method changes. I spend a significant amount of time comparing bills to the charge master. If ...


 
April 4, 2016 8:29 AM by Stephanie Noblit of New to the Lab

It's April, which means Medical Laboratory Professionals Week (MLPW) is right around the corner. This year, MLPW'16 falls on April 24-30. Laboratorians look forward to lab week each year like a young child looks forward to Christmas morning. Lab week is a time of celebration, games and free food. ...


 

As our profession ages and many of us lumber towards retirement, it is often hard to be optimistic. Many are burnt out and never miss an opportunity to tell those just entering the profession what a mistake they are making.


7 comments  
March 25, 2016 6:40 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

Urinalysis is one of the simpler screening tests laboratories perform. Modern dipstick readers have standardized and simplified the chemical analysis of urine. But what about the microscopic? Shouldn't that also be simplified?

Beckman Coulter and Sysmex offer instrumentation that performs cell counting. For many if not most labs, urine sediment is examined under light microscopy. White and red blood cells ...


1 comments  

A few months ago the physician group American Osteopathic Association (AOA) which represents osteopathic physicians (they use the credential DO instead of MD) embarked on a branding campaign for their profession.

Some clever marketer decided to use the physician credential and title the campaign "Doctors ...


3 comments  
March 18, 2016 10:49 AM by Irwin Rothenberg of CRI Lab Quality Advisor

We are rapidly approaching Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, (MLPW), the annual celebration of the medical laboratory profession, and those who play such a vital role in the delivery of quality healthcare. It has been celebrated annually since 1975, during the last full week of April, and ...


 

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.

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 Laboratory editorial staff will offer personal perspectives on issues in the clinical laboratory field and current healthcare environment.

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

Perspectives from young medical laboratory professionals