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One Size Never Fits All
November 17, 2014 6:03 AM by Scott Warner
One size fits all is an advertising gimmick, but we all know it isn’t true. Shelves are too high, microscopes are too low, and there is never enough room for paper. But the reality of our workspace is that it has to be designed to fit most people. This Read More...
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Smartphone Infections
November 7, 2014 6:01 AM by Scott Warner
Do you remember other kids eating dirt when you were young? It was commonplace to make mud pies, jump in puddles, and put tadpoles in pockets. We all played outside in dirt and grime, bit fingernails, ate baloney and cheese sandwiches without hand washing, Read More...
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Ebola is a Wake Up Call
October 29, 2014 6:00 AM by Scott Warner
The latest personal protective equipment guidelines from the CDC for Ebola emphasize training in donning and doffing PPE, no skin exposure, and a buddy system to make sure the process is followed. As their site states, “Focusing only on PPE gives a false Read More...
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Distractions Cause Errors
October 20, 2014 6:01 AM by Scott Warner
A study at Michigan State University found that three second interruptions doubled error rates; longer distractions increased errors. Another study in Australia found that nurse medication errors increased twelve percent for every interruption. And a Read More...
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Hold This For Five Minutes
September 17, 2014 6:03 AM by Scott Warner
I hate tape. I don’t really mind having blood drawn, but tape is a pain. Yanking or coaxing it off, it doesn’t matter. Getting hair ripped off my arms always hurts more than a needle. So when the phlebotomist or medical assistant says, “Hold this for Read More...
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Do You Microsleep?
September 3, 2014 6:06 AM by Scott Warner
I keep forgetting about the cool site Stumbleupon, which will find web sites based on your interests. Then I’ll get an email, say “Aha!” and stumble away. I’ve found a few good ideas this way. For example, the other day I read an article on microsleep. Read More...
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Keyboard Ergonomics
July 9, 2014 11:46 AM by Scott Warner
What started out attached to a desktop personal computer is everywhere. Keyboards are attached to computer terminals, COWs (Computers on Wheels), and many instruments. Yet little has changed in their design (more about that below). They are big, bulky, Read More...
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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...
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Does Tech Support Believe You?
March 19, 2014 6:04 AM by Scott Warner
More times than I can count I’ve discovered a problem with an instrument because of an unexpected shift or trend in quality control, called tech support, and been told there isn’t a problem. Recently a hematology field service tech told our techs that Read More...
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Eat Breakfast, Work Smarter
February 5, 2014 6:13 AM by Scott Warner
We employed a temp doctor who loved terrible breakfasts. During rounds we would stop by the dictation room to update her on cultures and other issues, and she listened while inhaling a fast food breakfast sausage muffin egg and cheese thing wrapped in Read More...
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All The Other Labs Do It
January 31, 2014 6:07 AM by Scott Warner
We report an estimated GFR using the MDRD (Modification of Diet in Renal Disease) equation. Sometime last year we stopped reporting the value in patients over seventy, because it hasn’t been validated for that subset of patients. It can still be useful, Read More...
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Questioning Physicians
September 4, 2013 6:02 AM by Scott Warner
The other day a physician ordered a platelet count to be recollected and repeated off lavender and blue top tubes. The patient platelet count had dropped from 229 thousand to 102 thousand in 24 hours, a sudden change. The tech performed the work but grumbled Read More...
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Human Error Did it!
July 29, 2013 6:01 AM by Scott Warner
Human error is blamed for much, from misidentification to mislabeling to misreporting criticals. One time a biochemical strip was miscoded because of (I thought) a flaw in the worksheet design, and the tech said, “It’s just human error.” “Human error” Read More...
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ABO Compatibility Safeguards
July 5, 2013 6:11 AM by Scott Warner
The incidence of ABO-related transfusion complications is rare but significant. One study estimates 800-900 cases annually in the US, with most causes being identification or phlebotomist error. Considering that undetected errors can occur depending on Read More...
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Are You Less Safe?
June 17, 2013 6:08 AM by Scott Warner
According to NIOSH (the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health), healthcare workers are exposed to violence at a rate of 8.3 nonfatal assaults per 10,000 workers annually. Studies show that violence may occur when service is denied, a patient Read More...
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About this Blog


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