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Stepwise Success

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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Remote Desktops
May 8, 2015 8:28 AM by Scott Warner
Let’s face it. So far the “Information Age,” what futurist Alvin Toffler coined The Third Wave in 1980, has been a headache of electronic junk, slow computers, confusing software, extra work, and ergonomic nightmares. Geeks aside, computers are often Read More...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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Microhematuria
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...
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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...
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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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About this Blog


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