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Stepwise Success

Just Around the Corner

Published December 31, 2012 6:15 AM by Scott Warner

Here it is, New Year’s Eve of 2012, an impossible year unimaginable to me as a boy, when 2001 seemed worlds away. It’s a natural break in the course of events to consider what succeeded, what failed, and what we need to try again. Success is always just around the corner.

It’s also a chance to stop the world a moment, get off, and kick the tires. We should all reconsider our career goals periodically, but the idea gets lost in the bustle of everyday things. Working and living take enormous amounts of energy, and the things you dislike about either even more so. Many people just want it to be over with so day’s end is a relaxing doze in a recliner watching the tube. I hear that.

But if the tires aren’t kicked they go flat unnoticed. Here are some goals I have, in no particular order, for 2013:

  • Online procedures. I’ve been frustrated by the consensus that “online” means “looks just like paper,” when web pages have so many more capabilities. Procedures need to be not just online, but cross-platform compatible. They need to be part of a knowledge base, such as a wiki.
  • Get rid of filing cabinets. I have two in my office that are becoming junk collectors, now that most paperwork is scanned. Filing is time-consuming, error-prone work with little return if nothing is retrieved.
  • Get rid of posted paper. Periodically, I’ll take down the paper hanging everywhere in the lab, but it always returns. There are reasons for this, such as communication redundancy (send it by email, post a link, and print it) and a lack of online, searchable procedures.
  • Drills. Fire training preparedness is partly accomplished through drills, and this can work in the lab, too. I’d like to see regular exercises for massive transfusion, information system failure, etc.
  • Patient rounding. The laboratory is conspicuously absent from patient rooms outside blood draws. Regular patient rounding is an opportunity to educate and learn from patients and also be seen as a resource and part of the care team.

Here’s to 2013!

NEXT: Don’t Bother the Blood Bank Tech!

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About this Blog


    Scott Warner, MLT(ASCP)
    Occupation: Laboratory Manager
    Setting: Critical Access Hospital
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