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Stepwise Success

Do Doctors Read Comments?
June 18, 2016 6:40 AM by Scott Warner
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 Read More...
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Justifying Staff
May 31, 2016 6:41 AM by Scott Warner
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 Read More...
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Moving That Needle
April 21, 2016 3:15 PM by Scott Warner
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 Read More...
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Are You Getting Paid?
April 4, 2016 4:53 PM by Scott Warner
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, Read More...
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Critical Time Limits
March 7, 2016 5:59 AM by Scott Warner
The Joint Commission National Patient Safety Goal 2 is to improve communication. For a laboratory, this means reporting critical results on a timely basis. Labs have to define critical results, by whom and to whom they are reported, and an acceptable Read More...
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Who Can You Follow?
February 18, 2016 6:29 PM by Scott Warner
According to one site, 1 in 40 adults (about 2.3% of the US population) suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder. While it’s a serious condition that can be treated and is no laughing matter, I can’t help musing if the percentage of lab techs with OCD Read More...
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Looking Ahead
January 6, 2016 6:00 AM by Scott Warner
Each new year brings change after a season of excess. At home it’s time to hit the gym, dust off the exercise bike, and put the juicer back on the kitchen counter. At work it’s time to bundle up 2015, discard old records, and think about planning vacations Read More...
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Looking Back at 2015
December 24, 2015 6:05 AM by Scott Warner
“Our dilemma,” said the American journalist Sydney Harris, “is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.” Ain’t that the truth. The holiday season is a time for loved ones to Read More...
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Who Enjoys Confrontation?
December 21, 2015 6:05 AM by Scott Warner
We are living in weird times. Our schools label any form of visible aggression as “bullying,” forcing natural behavior to go underground where lessons cannot be taught by elders. Workplaces are filled with buzzwords such as empowerment, team building, Read More...
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We’re All in This Together
December 2, 2015 5:56 AM by Scott Warner
An “us versus them” attitude is common in all workplaces. Lab techs don’t understand nurses or nurses don’t understand lab techs. I’ve heard techs whine many times over the years, “If only the nurses could come down here and watch what we do for a day.” Read More...
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Do You Still Use a STAT List?
November 27, 2015 12:45 PM by Scott Warner
A STAT list is a relic of a time when it was common for labs to have call, labor intensive tests, and batch testing. If your lab has any of these, you may also have a STAT list. It’s a list of tests that your lab performs STAT, and anything not on the Read More...
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Package Inserts or Procedures?
October 12, 2015 6:08 AM by Scott Warner
Laboratories spend a lot of time developing, writing, reviewing, updating, and maintaining procedure manuals. But it’s common to see a tech pull a kit from a refrigerator, remove the package insert from the box, and use that to run the test. CLIA standard Read More...
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Please and Thank You
September 23, 2015 2:12 PM by Scott Warner
The Ghostbusters reboot has me chuckling over the original. There’s a scene where an EPA official asks Bill Murray’s character to see the ghost storage facility, and Murray refuses explaining, “Because you did not use the magic word.” In an expression Read More...
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On Call Providers
July 29, 2015 7:23 AM by Scott Warner
Laboratories have policies about what and when to call results to providers. Usually, these are critical values or those that significantly delay treatment e.g. a positive antibody screen in the blood bank. We all have at least one story about that time Read More...
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How Many Vacations?
July 15, 2015 12:40 PM by Scott Warner
Vacation time - PTO (paid time off) or ETO (earned time off) - is a benefit offered by many organizations. There are no federal regulations regarding what employers should do, but most who offer it do so on a seniority scale. The longer you work at an Read More...
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About this Blog


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