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  • Imagine Printing Inventory on Demand

      Technology has changed exponentially in recent years. Just consider the apps available on your smart phone today compared to what was available just 5 or ten short years ago. In fact the term disruptive technology was coined to describe any new technology that comes along and is so significant and innovative that it ''disrupts'' the status ...
  • Point of Care Anxiety

    CMS recently dropped outpatient quality measure OP-16, which required reporting cardiac troponin results within 60 minutes of arrival with chest pain, citing a recall of point of care (POC) testing devices from one manufacturer. Oh, happy day. When I circulated the CMS memo a nurse said with relief, “Thank God we don’t have to use POC ...
    Posted to Stepwise Success (Weblog) on August 22, 2012
  • Lay Off the PSA, USA Medical Panel Advises

    The US Preventive Services Task Force is recommending that healthy men should not be routinely screened with the PSA test. There has been a buzz that this decision was in the offing for several years now, so the final ruling is not a surprise to  many. The logic of course is that the test has a high degree of nonspecificity and is ...
  • Push Technology

    Traditionally, laboratories result and complete testing that is either mailed, faxed, or “available“ electronically. Without paper, providers have to hunt and peck, which involves logging in, finding the patient, clicking, scrolling, and all the rest. The jargon is “pull technology” -- a request for information is initiated by a user (client). ...
    Posted to Stepwise Success (Weblog) on January 6, 2012
  • A Proposed Change to CLIA

    A few years ago a local patient with a critical INR in our laboratory had his test repeated at a medical center in a nearby city with wildly different results. The patient telephoned us and complained. “I don’t know who is running your tests,” he said, “but they need to get their act together! I can’t drive an hour every time I need a blood ...
    Posted to Stepwise Success (Weblog) on September 16, 2011
  • Does Your Hospital Ban Facebook?

    I wonder if Bigfoot uses Facebook at work. That’s at least as farfetched a notion that giving access to a social networking site at work destroys productivity, which according to one study is only 1.5%, less than all the time spent at “breaks.” In the same study, 77 percent of Facebook junkies access the site while at work, perhaps up to two ...
    Posted to Stepwise Success (Weblog) on March 23, 2011
  • Reporting Absolute Differentials

    The classic 100-cell differential is a hard habit to break, but it can be done. I can still see those microscopes lined up (with the ashtrays!) at the diff table! Modern cell counters report more accurate differentials than possible by counting 100 cells on a peripheral smear, a procedure useful when estimating abnormal cells or as a backup ...
    Posted to Stepwise Success (Weblog) on March 4, 2011
  • Is Your Laboratory Included in Your EMR?

    Healthcare is struggling with a transition -- arguably a transformation -- into an electronic medical record (EMR). Instead of bulging paper charts stuffed with scribbled, half-legible order sheets and progress notes, we will have indexed, clean, searchable data. Paging Dr. Geek. Paging Dr. Geek to the terminal... The concept isn’t new, first ...
    Posted to Stepwise Success (Weblog) on January 3, 2011
  • Repeat Testing

    It’s common for laboratories to repeat all critical values before reporting them, but that may be changing. A 2009 CAP Q-Probe examines the utility of this practice that may be obviated by modern instrumentation. An article in ASCP Lab Medicine makes the point that in the last ten years we have made leaps in accuracy, precision, clot detection, ...
    Posted to Stepwise Success (Weblog) on November 17, 2010
  • I, Robot

    Automation, such as the Siemens StreamLAB implemented recently at a Pennsylvania hospital, is almost commonplace. “The new automated laboratory equipment is capable of performing up to 125 different lab tests at the rate of 2,000 an hour and will advance the processing of chemistry testing, said Tom Flatley, administrative director of the ...
    Posted to Stepwise Success (Weblog) on July 7, 2010
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