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Stepwise Success

Confirmation Bias
October 21, 2016 3:19 PM by Scott Warner
A catch-all for errors is to blame them on “human error.” Human error is seen as inevitable, unpredictable, and common to us all. We forget, get distracted, make judgment errors, draw false conclusions, overlook the obvious, and make other mistakes. It’s Read More...
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The Power of Listening
October 10, 2016 3:43 PM by Scott Warner
Most people are aware of the difference between hearing and listening. And as we know, most of the time we pretend to listen while we’re thinking of the next thing we’re going to say. Listening can be hard work, because it requires focus. It is an essential Read More...
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Charge Reconciliation
September 28, 2016 3:32 PM by Scott Warner
Here’s a reality check: if we don’t get paid, the doors don’t stay open. Sure, that’s the problem of the billing office, collection agencies, and insurance companies. Bench techs don’t need to worry about that stuff. Right? Depends on who you ask, I guess. Read More...
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Is Lab Morale Plummeting?
September 9, 2016 6:06 AM by Scott Warner
Low morale, to paraphrase Justice Stewart, can be hard to define but we all know it when we see it. But unhappy employees, obvious or not, who are overstressed and overworked can cause a lot of problems: increased absenteeism, short tempers, poor customer Read More...
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A Script Example
August 30, 2016 7:19 PM by Scott Warner
As promised, here is an example AutoIt script: ; NotepadMemo.au3 - example using AutoIt #include <MsgBoxConstants.au3> #include <Date.au3> Local $sTo Local $sSubject If WinExists("Untitled - Notepad") Then $sTo = InputBox("Memo", "To:", "All Read More...
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AutoIt Your LIS
August 19, 2016 2:28 PM by Scott Warner
For those of you who like to tinker with programs, who remember typing BASIC programs from magazines in the early Eighties, and a few of you who understand programming, AutoIt will be fun. For the rest of you, it won’t be nearly as difficult as you might Read More...
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Automating LIS Maintenance
August 9, 2016 6:01 AM by Scott Warner
If your lab is like most, you have one or maybe two IT geeks who like computers enough to figure out how your information system works. To everyone else it’s a means to an end at best or an irritant at worst. How tests are built and maintained is way Read More...
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The Joys of Shopping
July 29, 2016 6:09 AM by Scott Warner
Change is constant, especially in laboratory medicine. Monoclonal antibody assays changed latex agglutination kits; discrete random-assay analyzers changed batch testing; point of care instruments are refocusing core laboratory testing. These days, leaving Read More...
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Embracing Point of Care
July 15, 2016 6:20 AM by Scott Warner
For an industry that is frequently at the forefront of new technology in healthcare, laboratory workers can be among the most resistant to change. Computers coexist with paper; manual diffs are still done when automated counts are far superior; point Read More...
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To Cut Costs, Change
July 1, 2016 6:20 AM by Scott Warner
These days it’s all about change. I have heard a constant drumbeat for the last thirty years that change is the only constant we can count on. The only thing more constant than change is the need to cut costs. Now that laboratories are becoming cost centers Read More...
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Do Doctors Read Comments?
June 18, 2016 6:40 AM by Scott Warner
Laboratories add comments to reports, some of which are informative e.g. CRITICAL VALUE REPEATED and others that are interpretive e.g. explaining the meaning and utility of the MDRD estimated GFR equation. It is the latter that brought me to this current Read More...
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Justifying Staff
May 31, 2016 6:41 AM by Scott Warner
These days it’s all about shortages. Shortages of techs, shortages of patients, and shortages of money. In small hospitals there are fewer of us working with fewer patients for less money. Those who are working are older than the average worker, are wondering Read More...
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Slide Review or Manual Diff?
May 18, 2016 5:59 AM by Scott Warner
The CPT code 85004 (Blood count; automated differential WBC count) has many variations, each of which is charged instead of 85004 and including the work. These codes can be distinguished in the CPT code book, because they are indented. Examples: 85007 Read More...
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Is PCR Ready for Small Labs?
May 2, 2016 6:36 AM by Scott Warner
What is true for big labs eventually becomes true for small labs, mostly because volume discounts drive affordability. This is most recently true for PCR, a technology that has arrived in small laboratories for two platforms, the Meridian Illumigene and Read More...
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Moving That Needle
April 21, 2016 3:15 PM by Scott Warner
One of the phrases I hear lately is “we need to move the needle,” meaning enough effort has to be put into change to not just make it stick, but change what matters. This might be customer satisfaction scores, test volumes, or cost containment. If there’s Read More...
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About this Blog


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