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Stepwise Success

Is Your Lab Open or Closed?
June 6, 2014 6:06 AM by Scott Warner
Business models tend to influence paradigms. Open office plans have been around since the 1950s and are in seventy percent of all businesses. The idea is simple: if workers can see each other and don’t have walls between them, creativity and productivity Read More...
A Better Blood Bank History
June 2, 2014 6:09 AM by Scott Warner
Blood bank is a dangerous department. Giving a patient the wrong unit of red cells can be fatal, something all techs who work in blood bank worry about. I’ve seen this happen once in my career. Truth is we don’t know how often this really happens, since Read More...
Workplace Statistics
May 14, 2014 6:01 AM by Scott Warner
The Internet is an amazing place. The other day I found a page compiling “Time Management Statistics” maintained by a workforce productivity site called Key Organization Systems. Assuming they are accurate, I’ve rearranged a few for context: In one survey Read More...
To Do or To Don’t
May 5, 2014 6:03 AM by Scott Warner
Some people are list makers. It’s a good feeling to make a list and cross off things as they’re done. Research shows that writing down a task gives you a better chance of getting it done. It helps organize your mind at the start of the day for today, Read More...
Are Mistakes Systemic?
April 25, 2014 6:14 AM by Scott Warner
The more I deal with process design, the more I suspect human error is systemic. Not that we are flawless workers -- one author parses mistakes and slips by intention or outcome -- but we give the system a pass too often and blame human error. We work Read More...
Patient Rounding
April 16, 2014 6:03 AM by Scott Warner
Each morning in our laboratory, we round the wards to review charts and talk to nurses and doctors about care related to lab issues. We’ve been doing this for a couple of years. This year we added patient rounding. The idea is simple: each morning we Read More...
Introduce Yourself
April 11, 2014 6:08 AM by Scott Warner
It’s inevitable. Sooner or later as healthcare professionals we become patients ourselves or our family members are patients. As insiders we are invaluable observers. We know how things should work. We know what to look for. Yet our input or feedback Read More...
We’re Back in Junior High
March 14, 2014 6:12 AM by Scott Warner
At a recent lab manager meeting a group of us shared pet peeves. “What bugs me,” I said, “is when someone will pop into my office and say something like, ‘So-and-so went to break with so-and-so!’” They laughed but agreed this kind of complaining is common. Read More...
A HIPAA Dilemma
February 28, 2014 6:05 AM by Scott Warner
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is designed to protect a patient’s healthcare information from unauthorized disclosure among other things. Laboratories, for example , may do so “for treatment purposes without patient Read More...
The Power of Touch
February 19, 2014 6:00 AM by Scott Warner
We touch our patients. Our profession is not as hands on as some, but collecting blood samples and other procedures involves close contact and a physical touch. Here’s a question to ponder: how much do you touch your patients, and how much of that is Read More...
It’s All About the Customer
February 10, 2014 6:05 AM by Scott Warner
A lab receives a complaint from a surgeon that lab work was not done on a preop patient even though the lab requisition was faxed by his office staff to the OR. The problem is potentially big. The paperwork was faxed sometime in the middle of the week, Read More...
Do You Follow Procedures?
January 13, 2014 6:05 AM by Scott Warner
Procedures are the core of every laboratory, but are they followed? Watching people work, I wonder. Most techs have workarounds for the trivial and the critical, from organizing an instrument run to blood bank serology to reading culture plates. It isn’t Read More...
Real People, Real Problems
December 30, 2013 6:15 AM by Scott Warner
Teamwork isn’t just coaching, sharing goals, cheerleading, and celebrating success. Most of us are emotionally vested in work. We want to do well and feel good when we are associated with a place that cares about the people who work for it. And more importantly Read More...
Using FORD with Patients
December 6, 2013 6:09 AM by Scott Warner
Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t -- you’re right.” Ironically, something called the FORD technique can help us when we are struck dumb to make small talk. Caught in an elevator, sitting in the cafeteria, or waiting Read More...
Time On, Time Off
November 27, 2013 1:04 PM by Scott Warner
Sometimes, I wonder if life is work between breaks or breaks between work. Conventional wisdom states if we love our jobs it isn’t really work, but that’s bargaining with reality. We all need a break. Taking time off is important. Despite the health benefits Read More...


About this Blog

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