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  • What Message are You Sending?

      In business school my marketing professor was fond of saying, “Marketing is everything.” It was tempting to see this view as the opinion of an overzealous marketer who was trying to convince students of the need to create complex and obtuse business/marketing plans.  But as I continued the course, and long after graduation I ...
  • Is Your Lab Open or Closed?

    Business models tend to influence paradigms. Open office plans have been around since the 1950s and are in seventy percent of all businesses. The idea is simple: if workers can see each other and don’t have walls between them, creativity and productivity increase. But as The New Yorker reports, “a growing body of evidence suggests that the ...
    Posted to Stepwise Success (Weblog) on June 6, 2014
  • Apples to Apples

    Were you ever one of those techs that questioned the utility of parallel testing?  Ok, I admit it, me too! I used to think that lot-to-lot verification, also referred to as crossover studies or parallel testing, was a nuisance, but that is because I didn’t fully understand it. Therefore, I get it when customers call me with questions ...
    Posted to CRI Lab Quality Advisor (Weblog) on June 3, 2014
  • A Better Blood Bank History

    Blood bank is a dangerous department. Giving a patient the wrong unit of red cells can be fatal, something all techs who work in blood bank worry about. I’ve seen this happen once in my career. Truth is we don’t know how often this really happens, since two thirds of the time units will be ABO-compatible. Scary, huh? Good blood bank practice ...
    Posted to Stepwise Success (Weblog) on June 2, 2014
  • Workplace Statistics

    The Internet is an amazing place. The other day I found a page compiling “Time Management Statistics” maintained by a workforce productivity site called Key Organization Systems. Assuming they are accurate, I’ve rearranged a few for context: In one survey of middle managers, 59% lost important information because they couldn’t find it. ...
    Posted to Stepwise Success (Weblog) on May 14, 2014
  • Why License Tour Guides but not Laboratorians?

      A recent article in the Economist made me chuckle. It covers in a deliberately humorous way, the story that tour guides in Washington, DC must be licensed, or face stiff fines.   The idea is that a certain body of knowledge is needed and the public can be fleeced or shortchanged if everyone and their uncle start ...
  • To Do or To Don’t

    Some people are list makers. It’s a good feeling to make a list and cross off things as they’re done. Research shows that writing down a task gives you a better chance of getting it done. It helps organize your mind at the start of the day for today, during your work, or at the end of the day for tomorrow. For many people, daily to do lists ...
    Posted to Stepwise Success (Weblog) on May 5, 2014
  • Not Another STAT, Please!

    Recently, CRI had a webinar, titled “Effective Laboratory Utilization: New Health Care Models,” and somehow the word utilization made me think of STATs. It made me remember the years when I was right out of lab school and was often stressed out every time a STAT was dropped off in the lab.  For this week, let’s talk about the lab’s ...
    Posted to CRI Lab Quality Advisor (Weblog) on April 29, 2014
  • Are Mistakes Systemic?

    The more I deal with process design, the more I suspect human error is systemic. Not that we are flawless workers -- one author parses mistakes and slips by intention or outcome -- but we give the system a pass too often and blame human error. We work within complex systems, and our own techniques, memories, and attitudes are part of that ...
    Posted to Stepwise Success (Weblog) on April 25, 2014
  • In Celebration of Medical Laboratory Professionals Week

      So, it’s that time of year again. This week we turn our attention to celebrating medical laboratorians.  It is the one week out of the year when we highlight the very important role played by those of us who practice in the laboratory.  Although the information we provide is so vital to healthcare, we are ...
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