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Stepwise Success

Limit Input
April 13, 2016 4:59 PM by Scott Warner
One of the oft-quoted nuggets in The Elements of Style is “omit needless words.” I’ve seen this rule praised and criticized with equal fervor. As a writer, pruning and trimming prose seems like a necessary path to clarity for the reader. It is also intensely Read More...
Are You Getting Paid?
April 4, 2016 4:53 PM by Scott Warner
The laboratory is a unique clinical department. The possible tests and their associated billable codes that are routinely ordered day in and day out can number in the thousands or even tens of thousands. The big moving target is referral lab testing, Read More...
Simplify Urinalysis
March 25, 2016 6:40 AM by Scott Warner
Urinalysis is one of the simpler screening tests laboratories perform. Modern dipstick readers have standardized and simplified the chemical analysis of urine. But what about the microscopic? Shouldn’t that also be simplified? Beckman Coulter and Sysmex Read More...
Working Managers
March 16, 2016 6:38 AM by Scott Warner
A nursing paradigm has been the “working manager,” a nurse who also works the floors and pitches in when needed. This model has been used in ancillary departments such as radiology and respiratory therapy. It makes sense to have a manager with first hand Read More...
Critical Time Limits
March 7, 2016 5:59 AM by Scott Warner
The Joint Commission National Patient Safety Goal 2 is to improve communication. For a laboratory, this means reporting critical results on a timely basis. Labs have to define critical results, by whom and to whom they are reported, and an acceptable Read More...
Know What Docs Want
February 26, 2016 11:48 AM by Scott Warner
A lab tech’s job is very linear. Requisitions arrive, specimens are collected that match the tests that are checked off, the work is done, the tests are reported. We know what docs want. Right? For the most part, yes. Most docs - especially younger ones Read More...
Who Can You Follow?
February 18, 2016 6:29 PM by Scott Warner
According to one site, 1 in 40 adults (about 2.3% of the US population) suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder. While it’s a serious condition that can be treated and is no laughing matter, I can’t help musing if the percentage of lab techs with OCD Read More...
Do Older Techs Really Hate Change?
February 5, 2016 5:33 PM by Scott Warner
Do older techs hate change? It’s a cliche that an old dog can’t be taught new tricks. When someone is “resistant to change,” ageism inevitably follows. “She’s old and close to retirement,” I’ll hear. Conversely, young people are assumed to be champions Read More...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Looking Ahead
January 6, 2016 6:00 AM by Scott Warner
Each new year brings change after a season of excess. At home it’s time to hit the gym, dust off the exercise bike, and put the juicer back on the kitchen counter. At work it’s time to bundle up 2015, discard old records, and think about planning vacations Read More...
Confrontation Rules
January 4, 2016 6:04 AM by Scott Warner
No one like confrontation. I get it. We come to work, we do our work, we have pleasant conversation with co-workers, and we go home. But of course it isn’t that easy. Even Gilligan’s Island wasn't that easy. Confrontation is necessary because unspoken Read More...
Looking Back at 2015
December 24, 2015 6:05 AM by Scott Warner
“Our dilemma,” said the American journalist Sydney Harris, “is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.” Ain’t that the truth. The holiday season is a time for loved ones to Read More...


About this Blog

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