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  • 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 ...
  • 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
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