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We are rapidly approaching Medical Laboratory Professionals
the annual celebration of the medical laboratory profession, and those who play
such a vital role in the delivery of quality healthcare. It has been celebrated
annually since 1975, during the last full week of April, and once again, the
vital role of the laboratory is ...
It is a well-known fact by now that most laboratory errors
occur in the pre- and post-analytic phases of testing and that these errors can
have a significant impact on patient care. Often, these activities do not occur
within the physical confines of the laboratory, but in other locations—often by
personnel not directly managed by the ...
When I blogged about looking at inpatient charts in 2012, we had implemented CPOE (Computerized Physician Order Entry) to a limited degree. Now that it’s commonplace and there are few written physician orders, it’s still useful to look at charts.
Each morning we take 15-30 minutes to round at the nursing stations to check a few charts, among ...
One of our more common complaints is that we didn’t do the correct test. We missed a test because it was not seen, illegible, or written on the back of a two-sided form; we assumed an abbreviation meant something unintended by the physician; we entered an order incorrectly into our information system. In very few cases do we forget to perform a ...
It is extremely important to get back to basics in whatever
we do. This simple edict is so often ignored because- well, because it is so
basic. We tend to go for the complicated and glitzy. I thought about this
truism when the CDC issued its new
more rigorous guidelines this past Monday.
There is nothing really complicated about the ...
Just a few short months ago Ebola was a disease in a far away continent. The greatest fear was that with our internationally mobile population a case or two might slip into the USA. Then 2 Americans in Liberia contracted the disease and were flown back amongst great fanfare to Atlanta's Emory Hospital where they were treated for several weeks, ...
More times than I can count I’ve discovered a problem with an instrument because of an unexpected shift or trend in quality control, called tech support, and been told there isn’t a problem. Recently a hematology field service tech told our techs that a shift wasn’t a shift, and (basically) that none of us knew what we were looking at. He ...
We report an estimated GFR using the MDRD (Modification of Diet in Renal Disease) equation. Sometime last year we stopped reporting the value in patients over seventy, because it hasn’t been validated for that subset of patients. It can still be useful, but it can also be misleading. Curious providers can use online calculators, preferable to ...
The other day a physician ordered a platelet count to be recollected and repeated off lavender and blue top tubes. The patient platelet count had dropped from 229 thousand to 102 thousand in 24 hours, a sudden change. The tech performed the work but grumbled to me the next morning. “He doesn’t trust our lab results! I told him there was ...
The incidence of ABO-related transfusion complications is rare but significant. One study estimates 800-900 cases annually in the US, with most causes being identification or phlebotomist error. Considering that undetected errors can occur depending on the patient type e.g. a group A patient may safely receive a unit of O in error, the true rate ...