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  • Do You Still Use a STAT List?

    A STAT list is a relic of a time when it was common for labs to have call, labor intensive tests, and batch testing. If your lab has any of these, you may also have a STAT list. It’s a list of tests that your lab performs STAT, and anything not on the list usually isn’t. If, for example, a B12 and Folate is not on the STAT list, a ...
    Posted to Stepwise Success (Weblog) on November 27, 2015
  • French Hospitals Respond to Terrorist Attack

    Through a friend in Paris, I was able to speak briefly with a medical lab scientist at the American Hospital of Paris. I was interested in getting an overview of how the hospital, particularly the lab, responded in the hours directly after the massacre and perhaps see if their protocols were similar in any way to what we are used to in the United ...
  • Labs Have a Role in Fighting Diagnostic Error

    In 1999  the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published that seminal report, To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System. We can all recite the much-quoted statistics that medical errors result in between 44,000 and 98,000 deaths in this country each and every year. The report rated medical errors as the 8th ...
  • Controlling Specimen Identification Errors: A Quiz

    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 ...
    Posted to CRI Lab Quality Advisor (Weblog) on October 26, 2015
  • Package Inserts or Procedures?

    Laboratories spend a lot of time developing, writing, reviewing, updating, and maintaining procedure manuals. But it’s common to see a tech pull a kit from a refrigerator, remove the package insert from the box, and use that to run the test. CLIA standard 493.1251 for procedure manuals spells out what your laboratory needs, and it isn’t ...
    Posted to Stepwise Success (Weblog) on October 12, 2015
  • Adding New Staff to an Old Team

    Sometimes, you have the good fortune to find qualified staff within a short time to replace those who have left, minimizing the disruption to your daily routine. More often than not, it takes a while to find the “right” person for your lab. In the meantime, the remaining techs have to take on extra shifts, work in other specialties or take on ...
    Posted to CRI Lab Quality Advisor (Weblog) on October 6, 2015
  • Please and Thank You

    The Ghostbusters reboot has me chuckling over the original. There’s a scene where an EPA official asks Bill Murray’s character to see the ghost storage facility, and Murray refuses explaining, “Because you did not use the magic word.” In an expression typifying bureaucratic obsequiousness for the ages the EPA man asks what that is. Murray ...
    Posted to Stepwise Success (Weblog) on September 23, 2015
  • Miss America and Nurses and Medical Lab Scientists

    A few days ago during the Miss America televised pageant one of the contestants, Kelley Johnson representing Colorado, presented a somewhat unique “talent.” Instead of singing or dancing or twirling a baton, Johnson, a registered nurse, came on stage in scrubs, a stethoscope slung around  her neck and proceeded to highlight the ...
  • Laboratory Testing: Reflecting Our Changing Society

    As laboratory professionals, our focus on quality begins by looking inward at our operational processes -- from specimen collection to result reporting. But the application of this work is then externalized, sent to the ordering physicians and applied to their patients.  The way we perform and report our work and its effect on patient ...
    Posted to CRI Lab Quality Advisor (Weblog) on September 18, 2015
  • Has Theranos Passed the Sniff Test?

    Just a few short years ago healthcare technology company Theranos burst on the scene. This company founded by a non-scientist college dropout Elizabeth Holmes is now a billion-dollar success story.   Holmes’ differentiating edge is to make lab tests available easier, faster, cheaper and using micro samples instead ...
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