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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).
August 22, 2014 12:54 PM by David Plaut of David Plaut: Off the Cuff

Laboratories have a major impact on patient safety: 80-90% of all the diagnoses are made on the basis of laboratory tests. Laboratory errors have a reported frequency of 0.012-0.6% of all test results.

Patient safety is a managerial issue which can be enhanced by implementing active system to identify and monitor quality failures. This can be facilitated by reactive method which includes incident reporting ...

August 22, 2014 12:48 PM by Eleanor Wolfram of The Power of Two

Examining the mechanics of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is poetry in motion. The genius of DNA is that this nucleic acid that carries the genetic information in the cell and is capable of self-replication and synthesis of RNA. However, with any science- poetic or not - a glance at ethical behavior is necessary.

Epically and ethically speaking any DNA research work is both challenging and powerful as the National ...

August 20, 2014 3:37 PM by Eleanor Wolfram of The Power of Two

Will the nature versus nurture debate ever be resolved? You know the controversy. The one that addresses the extent to which particular aspects of behavior are a product of either inherited by nature (i.e. genetic) or acquired (i.e. learned) characteristics. For decades, the nature/nurture debates were a monopoly within the psychology field, but lately life scientists have jumped on the band wagon. And it is a good ...

August 20, 2014 2:58 PM by David Plaut of David Plaut: Off the Cuff

Why can humans (and guinea pigs and dry-nosed primates and bats) not make vitamin C and are thus open to scurvy without replacement?

Many years ago, I worked on a study of guinea pigs that had been fed a diet without vitamin C and thus developed scurvy.  I knew that people, like the guinea pigs, could develop scurvy without adding the vitamin to our diet.  This has been known for more than a century ...

August 20, 2014 6:04 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

"We never got the result!" is our most common complaint, followed closely by "My doctor never got the result!" It is frequently delivered in an accusatory tone instead of the more accurate "We can't find it. Did you send it?" Or even, "Did you perform the test?"

We hear the latter once in a while. We look up the patient who hasn't been seen in our hospital since 2008, and on the other end of the telephone ...


As anyone reads my writing knows I am a huge proponent of a more independent practice model for Medical Laboratory Scientists (and MLTs to a degree). A component of that model would be closer interaction with physicians and a willingness and ability to consult with physicians offering advice and information on medical laboratory testing.

August 15, 2014 6:01 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

Standard deviation index (SDI) measures bias using simple, easy to understand criteria. I also like this for daily quality control, because it works on all levels. Here's the calculation:

SDI = (Value - Target Mean) / Standard Deviation

Thus, a glucose of 97 with a control range of 80-100 has an SDI of 1.4. A positive SDI indicates a value above the mean; a negative value indicates a value ...

August 14, 2014 3:47 PM by Michael Jones of ADVANCE Discourse: Lab

Lately, I find myself becoming a little jealous of bears. That's right, bears - but not for the reasons you might think. Sure, it'd be great to hang out in creeks during the summer months, eating nothing but fresh salmon and berries all day, every day. I guess it'd also be pretty fantastic to be able to hibernate and sleep away the winter too, but ...

August 12, 2014 3:07 PM by Irwin Rothenberg of CRI Lab Quality Advisor

We have all been in situations where we start our workday, and find the unexpected has happened, and that we cannot proceed as planned. Frustrating! From the viewpoint of a laboratory professional, this can include all those situations that prevent us from fulfilling our responsibilities to perform the testing ordered, and to report the test results in a timely manner.

These situations can include problems ...

August 12, 2014 2:45 PM by Eleanor Wolfram of The Power of Two

Mental illness is a disorder that influences the way a person behaves, feels and thinks about themselves and others. In today's world it is common knowledge that the symptoms of mental illness can range from mild to severe leaving a person unable to cope with life's daily routines.

Research over the past several decades have revealed that although the exact cause of most mental illnesses is not known, it is ...

August 12, 2014 2:16 PM by Eleanor Wolfram of The Power of Two

Career coaches make good money teaching on the numerous meanings that a handshake can tell about someone. It seems that firm handshakes are better than weak and limp ones. And it is a definite no-no to extended a sweaty palm.

Just recently, a team of Kansas State University (KSU) biochemists have discovered that proteins also have hands and are quite fond of shaking them. However, these microbial handshakes ...

August 11, 2014 6:00 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

According to US News and World Report, the top five "best jobs" in 2014 are: software developer, computer systems analyst, dentist, nurse practitioner, and pharmacist. We make the list, too: phlebotomist is #16 and clinical laboratory technician #22. These jobs "offer a mosaic of employment opportunity, ...



As the workforces ages we find many Baby Boomers (born 1946 to 1964) are retiring and the workforce is increasingly made up of ...

August 6, 2014 2:54 PM by Michael Jones of ADVANCE Discourse: Lab

The Zaire ebolavirus and the increasingly dire situation in West Africa have been all over the news in recent weeks. Airports and hospitals in the United States are on high alert for suspicious cases coming out of the region to prevent the potential spread into a new country. According to a recent ...

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

If there's anything a lifetime of change teaches us, it's that change never matches the hype. At some point in your career you've heard and seen it all: staffing ideas, alphabet soup, meeting gimmicks, efficiency notions. Like hornets, buzzwords are best left undisturbed, because after a while we're allergic to their sting.

Or are we?



As laboratorians we tend to be masters (and mistresses) of multitasking and completing tasks. Ever wondered why we have so ...



The overutilization of laboratory tests continues to be the bane of laboratory and hospital management. Overutilization is troublesome for several reasons, of course.

August 1, 2014 6:00 AM by Scott Warner of Stepwise Success

While working out I listen to short articles using an Android app called Umano. Many of the articles I hear claim that we have a lack of people who can write computer programs. Indeed, last year President Obama endorsed an "Hour of Code" during ...

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 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 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 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 ...



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.