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  • 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 ...
  • Patient Rounding

    Each morning in our laboratory, we round the wards to review charts and talk to nurses and doctors about care related to lab issues. We’ve been doing this for a couple of years. This year we added patient rounding. The idea is simple: each morning we choose one or two patients and do a “check in” to say hello, introduce ourselves in the light ...
    Posted to Stepwise Success (Weblog) on April 16, 2014
  • Introduce Yourself

    It’s inevitable. Sooner or later as healthcare professionals we become patients ourselves or our family members are patients. As insiders we are invaluable observers. We know how things should work. We know what to look for. Yet our input or feedback is less valued and seldom sought, another blog. Recently in the ED with a family member I ...
    Posted to Stepwise Success (Weblog) on April 11, 2014
  • Answering Your Questions About Patients' Direct Access to Lab Results

      Since my blog last month regarding to the HHS mandate that laboratories must grant patients access to their lab results on request, my mailbox has been inundated with comments and questions. A few questions were asked by more than one writer and so I thought I would seek direct guidance from HHS and answer the most commonly asked ...
  • Top 5 Deficiencies for Laboratories, Part II

    In part II of this blog, we will touch on Calibration and Quality Assurance. These two areas are among the most common areas of deficiencies and also tend to be frequently cited.Calibration: I get it. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Calibration being missed is among the most common citations for laboratory deficiencies. Some instruments have ...
    Posted to CRI Lab Quality Advisor (Weblog) on April 1, 2014
  • We’re Back in Junior High

    At a recent lab manager meeting a group of us shared pet peeves. “What bugs me,” I said, “is when someone will pop into my office and say something like, ‘So-and-so went to break with so-and-so!’” They laughed but agreed this kind of complaining is common. “It’s like we’re back in Junior High,” one of them said. There are two interesting ...
    Posted to Stepwise Success (Weblog) on March 14, 2014
  • A HIPAA Dilemma

    The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is designed to protect a patient’s healthcare information from unauthorized disclosure among other things. Laboratories, for example, may do so “for treatment purposes without patient authorization, as long as they use reasonable safeguards,” by fax, email, telephone, etc. ...
    Posted to Stepwise Success (Weblog) on February 28, 2014
  • As Long as You Don’t Call my Instrument a Machine

      I had witnessed this situation many times before, but I still paid attention. ''It’s an instrument, not a machine, stupid,” the MLS yelled to the entire room  in general, and no one in particular, as she hung up the phone. angrily.  When questioned she explained that a physician had called wanting to know ...
  • The Power of Touch

    We touch our patients. Our profession is not as hands on as some, but collecting blood samples and other procedures involves close contact and a physical touch. Here’s a question to ponder: how much do you touch your patients, and how much of that is deliberate? Touch is our primary way to communicate compassion and other emotions. Berkeley ...
    Posted to Stepwise Success (Weblog) on February 19, 2014
  • It’s All About the Customer

    A lab receives a complaint from a surgeon that lab work was not done on a preop patient even though the lab requisition was faxed by his office staff to the OR. The problem is potentially big. The paperwork was faxed sometime in the middle of the week, the patient drove to the lab the following Sunday to have the labs drawn for Tuesday surgery, ...
    Posted to Stepwise Success (Weblog) on February 10, 2014
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