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Stepwise Success

A Better Cell Count Calculation
April 10, 2015 6:05 AM by Scott Warner
When I took High School physics, we were not allowed to use calculators. This was just as well, since they were bulky and expensive. The Texas Instruments SR-50 sold for $170 in 1974, which is over $860 today . Slide rules were cheap. Pen and paper was Read More...
Music Improves Your Work
March 23, 2015 6:02 AM by Scott Warner
All the labs I’ve been in have a radio on. A surveyer once commented on this in a lab, saying in her experience they were usually by a sink. In our lab there is a radio directly outside my office, which is the only place we get reception. All day, every Read More...
Collecting Good Data
January 26, 2015 6:00 AM by Scott Warner
As professional data collectors, lab techs are poor data collectors, at least when it comes to quality assurance. I’m not sure why this is. It could be a flaw in the collection method, distractions that take priority, measurement interference with the Read More...
The Old and the New
January 12, 2015 6:03 AM by Scott Warner
Many years ago when I was taught to run a Monospot, I was instructed in the fine art of rotating the card in a figure 8. The goal was to equally rotate the mixtures in all circles while scanning for agglutination. But in case that was too difficult, vendors Read More...
Your Social Media Career
January 2, 2015 6:20 AM by Scott Warner
Merriam Webster defines career as “a job or profession that someone does for a long time,” a traditional definition related to one’s vocation or life’s work. But the website Dictionary.com adds a more general “a person’s progress or general course of Read More...
December 15, 2014 6:03 AM by Scott Warner
Hematuria, or blood in the urine, is distinct from microhematuria . The latter isn’t visible to the naked eye and is detected under the microscope. (The prefix micro is from the Greek mikros , meaning “small.”) It isn’t unusual in urinalysis to see a Read More...
Do Disclaimers Add Value?
November 12, 2014 6:44 AM by Scott Warner
Our tendency to comment results with disclaimers is strong. Examples: Reporting pathogens in a urine culture with many skin flora and adding “possible contamination” Reporting a potassium on a hemolyzed sample and adding “hemolysis may increase results” Read More...
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...
IG# and Sepsis
October 10, 2014 6:15 AM by Scott Warner
Our current hematology analyzer was a big step up from a Sysmex K4500 with a 3-part differential to a Sysmex XT-1800i with a 5-part differential. I remember arranging a conference call between the bean counters and the pathologist to explain why the difference Read More...
More Sample Lookback
October 1, 2014 6:00 AM by Scott Warner
In 2011 I blogged about using a binary search algorithm to find a point of failure when performing a sample lookback with a large number of samples. In dealing with sample lookback and revising our own policies since then, we’ve hit a few snags: How should Read More...
Virtual Keystrokes
September 26, 2014 6:00 AM by Scott Warner
In my last blog I said computers are stupidly reliable. They do whatever they are told, over and over. And they don’t get bored or make mistakes. It’s easy, for example, to create little programs that send keystrokes to applications. I use a freeware Read More...
Computers are Stupid
September 22, 2014 6:00 AM by Scott Warner
Back in the day we imagined computers were smart. In a 1964 Twilight Zone episode called “The Brain Center at Whipples,” a CEO who heartlessly replaces workers with robots is himself replaced by Robby The Robot from the 1956 classic Forbidden Planet . Read More...
Using SDI
August 15, 2014 6:01 AM by Scott Warner
Standard deviation index (SDI) measures bias using simple, easy to understand criteria. I also like this for daily quality control, because it works on all levels. Here’s the calculation: SDI = (Value - Target Mean) / Standard Deviation Thus, a glucose Read More...
Market Your Computer Skills
August 1, 2014 6:00 AM by Scott Warner
While working out I listen to short articles using an Android app called Umano. Many of the articles I hear claim that we have a lack of people who can write computer programs. Indeed, last year President Obama endorsed an “Hour of Code” during Computer Read More...
Rarely Ordered But Critical Tests
July 23, 2014 6:05 AM by Scott Warner
The bread and butter of labs are those tests ordered on most patients: chemistry panels, blood counts, urinalysis and culture, and to an extent coagulation and blood bank. These are often ordered serially on patients admitted to your hospital, creating Read More...


About this Blog

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