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Form and Function
January 27, 2016 6:41 AM by Scott Warner
In my last blog, I described how to create a table in a database that stores blood bank index card file information. At a minimum, this should contain the patient name, date of birth, and a checkbox to indicate if the patient has antibodies. That’s the Read More...
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Cards on the Table
January 18, 2016 6:52 AM by Scott Warner
In building a blood bank cardfile mirror, the main element is the database table. A table is a collection of records that stores data in fields. In the case of OpenOffice Base, when you open the program (called Database in the OpenOffice main menu) a Read More...
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Building a Cardfile Mirror
January 13, 2016 6:36 AM by Scott Warner
The concept of a database is simple: data is stored in tables and linked together. Once the data is stored in a table of fields you design, you can do anything with it. You can sort, print, or filter it. The problem of a blood bank card file mirror may Read More...
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The Power of Open Source
January 8, 2016 6:23 AM by Scott Warner
There are many kinds of software licenses, some more restrictive than others. If your hospital uses Microsoft Office, for example, a certain number of licenses has been purchased to match the number of workstations the software can be installed on. Typically, Read More...
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Using OneNote
November 9, 2015 6:29 AM by Scott Warner
Most laboratories have or have a need for a communication logbook to share information between techs and shifts. Recently, I discovered Microsoft OneNote for this purpose, mostly because it is on all our workstations. I was curious if it would fit our Read More...
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Future Procedures
October 21, 2015 6:50 AM by Scott Warner
For most of my career I’ve heard about how computers will transform our lives. The first laboratory I worked in had an air conditioned room filled with hardware, spinning drums, and enormous, deafening printers. The inevitable march of progress has brought Read More...
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E-Procedures
October 16, 2015 6:24 AM by Scott Warner
In my last blog I wondered why techs use package inserts when there is a procedure on the shelf or online. For me the reasons boil down to pictures (everyone loves pictures) and availability (it’s right there in the box!). It almost certainly isn’t that Read More...
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Do You Still Email at Work?
October 7, 2015 7:04 AM by Scott Warner
In 2008 I blogged “Big Brother Has Mail,” about justified paranoia that employers may be reading the emails of employees. I didn’t read email then, since, or now. It’s a waste of time when a manager is doing a good job. But hospital environments are changing. Read More...
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Why Do You Switch Methods?
September 9, 2015 6:10 AM by Scott Warner
One of the challenges in laboratory medicine is keeping up with technology while reducing cost or keeping budget neutral. This isn’t easy, since the amount of information grows daily from emails, websites, trade magazines, scientific magazines, physician Read More...
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The Problem with Windows XP
August 3, 2015 7:54 AM by Scott Warner
Now that Windows 10 is here (it’s free if you have Windows 7 or higher) laboratories should worry about computers still running Windows XP. These include desktops in offices, laptops, and data managers attached to an instrument. The problem with Windows Read More...
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Texting at Work
July 1, 2015 6:13 AM by Scott Warner
Consultant Rebecca Mazin complains on the website All Business, “I have personally noted many examples of flagrant, highly inappropriate workplace texting.” What about your laboratory? Chances are, it’s happening regardless of policy enforcement. A 2011 Read More...
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To UV or Not to UV
June 10, 2015 6:33 AM by Scott Warner
While on safety rounds in our pharmacy one day I noticed a switch on their biosafety cabinet for an ultraviolet light. Is this used? I wondered. Neither of us used UV, but we decided to check, since both of our hoods were due for annual maintenance. According Read More...
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Your Company’s Computer Guy
May 22, 2015 6:33 AM by Scott Warner
Saturday Night Live used to have this recurring skit about a rude computer technician played by Jimmy Fallon . He’d appear and respond to polite questions with snarking geek jokes, yell “MOVE!” and type the solution in a few keystrokes. “Was that so hard?” Read More...
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Correcting Corrective Action
May 18, 2015 6:03 AM by Scott Warner
Lab techs typically think of “corrective action” as it relates to quality control. A QC point is out, the tech checks reagent levels, finds out the reagent level in the well is low, puts on fresh reagent, and repeats the controls. But was this really Read More...
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Connecting Desktops
May 13, 2015 6:01 AM by Scott Warner
Imagine two offices in different parts of the building, and you work in both of them. Many times you need to share information between the offices, a task complicated by the distance between them and the time it takes to move papers, telephone contacts, Read More...
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About this Blog


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