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Stepwise Success

Maine Law LD597
October 11, 2013 6:15 AM by Scott Warner
Maine Law LD597 Concerns grow over tick-borne illnesses in Maine. This summer (where did that go, by the way?) the 126th Maine State Legislature passed LD 597 that requires patients to receive a copy of their lab report, effective October 9th. “Health Read More...
Point of Care Anxiety
August 22, 2012 6:08 AM by Scott Warner
CMS recently dropped outpatient quality measure OP-16, which required reporting cardiac troponin results within 60 minutes of arrival with chest pain, citing a recall of point of care (POC) testing devices from one manufacturer. Oh, happy day. When I Read More...
Rude Doctors
July 11, 2012 6:07 AM by Scott Warner
A surgeon storms into the manager’s office and screams at the top of his lungs with patients within earshot. An OB gets in the face of a tech and tells her she almost killed a patient right in a patient waiting area. A pediatrician complains to a patient Read More...
Recognize and Celebrate
April 23, 2012 6:17 AM by Scott Warner
The other day a staff person said, “I’ll bet the nurses don’t like coming to the lab. This is our turf, and it’s us against them when that happens.” Most nurses love coming the lab if they are greeted with warm smiles and pleasantries. It’s ironic that Read More...
Push Technology
January 6, 2012 6:07 AM by Scott Warner
Traditionally, laboratories result and complete testing that is either mailed, faxed, or “available“ electronically. Without paper, providers have to hunt and peck, which involves logging in, finding the patient, clicking, scrolling, and all the rest. Read More...
A Proposed Change to CLIA
September 16, 2011 6:28 AM by Scott Warner
A few years ago a local patient with a critical INR in our laboratory had his test repeated at a medical center in a nearby city with wildly different results. The patient telephoned us and complained. “I don’t know who is running your tests,” he said, Read More...
Does Your Hospital Ban Facebook?
March 23, 2011 6:07 AM by Scott Warner
I wonder if Bigfoot uses Facebook at work. That’s at least as farfetched a notion that giving access to a social networking site at work destroys productivity, which according to one study is only 1.5%, less than all the time spent at “breaks.” In the Read More...
Reporting Absolute Differentials
March 4, 2011 6:07 AM by Scott Warner
The classic 100-cell differential is a hard habit to break, but it can be done. I can still see those microscopes lined up (with the ashtrays!) at the diff table! Modern cell counters report more accurate differentials than possible by counting 100 cells Read More...
Why Are Specimens Mislabeled?
February 14, 2011 6:03 AM by Scott Warner
In 2004, Sinai Hospital in Baltimore had 499 unlabeled specimens reach the lab. A multidisciplinary team reduced these errors 50%. Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota reduced labeling errors 75% with a zero tolerance (“Any Is Too Many” is their Read More...
Is Your Laboratory Included in Your EMR?
January 3, 2011 5:58 AM by Scott Warner
Healthcare is struggling with a transition -- arguably a transformation -- into an electronic medical record (EMR). Instead of bulging paper charts stuffed with scribbled, half-legible order sheets and progress notes, we will have indexed, clean, searchable Read More...
Repeat Testing
November 17, 2010 6:24 AM by Scott Warner
It’s common for laboratories to repeat all critical values before reporting them, but that may be changing. A 2009 CAP Q-Probe examines the utility of this practice that may be obviated by modern instrumentation. An article in ASCP Lab Medicine makes Read More...
I, Robot
July 7, 2010 6:16 AM by Scott Warner
Automation, such as the Siemens StreamLAB implemented recently at a Pennsylvania hospital , is almost commonplace. “The new automated laboratory equipment is capable of performing up to 125 different lab tests at the rate of 2,000 an hour and will advance Read More...
April 28, 2010 6:16 AM by Scott Warner
Oh mercy, mercy me / Oh, things ain't what they used to be , sang the late Marvin Gaye. Since January of 2010 a Maine law has required hospitals to screen most patients for MRSA. We already look for MRSA if there is an infection, of course, but this is Read More...
Reaching Out
April 19, 2010 6:18 AM by Scott Warner
This week marks the 35th National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, a celebration of the nearly 300,000 laboratory scientists working today. It's an exciting time to work in the laboratory. We're a profession that relishes technology, knowledge, Read More...
GFR Calculations
April 9, 2010 7:06 AM by Scott Warner
In 2000, the National Kidney Foundation Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (NKF KDOQI) recommended : The level of GFR {glomerular filtration rate} should be estimated from prediction equations that take into account the serum creatinine concentration Read More...


About this Blog

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