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  • Building Effective Educational Outreach

    In a medical office setting, the general office staff is often part of the de facto laboratory operation due to their responsibilities related to initially seeing and communicating with patients. This includes the intake and update of patient information, test ordering, specimen acquisition, labeling and initial handling, as well as ...
    Posted to CRI Lab Quality Advisor (Weblog) on September 21, 2016
  • Millennials Redefine Quality

    The impact of Millennials’ interpretations and expectations of quality service from the healthcare profession in general—and laboratories in particular—continues to grow with each passing year. Now the largest generation demographically, Millennials are coming of age and gradually assuming their rightful place as both mass consumers and ...
    Posted to CRI Lab Quality Advisor (Weblog) on August 31, 2016
  • 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
  • Has Ebola Suddenly Gone Away?

      Just a few short weeks ago, Ebola was the talk of the town. Both the lay public and healthcare professionals seemed consumed with the topic. Entire cottage industries were born to supply Ebola-proof personal protective equipment (PPE) and to teach Ebola safety.   There was a CDC conference call almost daily to update ...
  • Hold This For Five Minutes

    I hate tape. I don’t really mind having blood drawn, but tape is a pain. Yanking or coaxing it off, it doesn’t matter. Getting hair ripped off my arms always hurts more than a needle. So when the phlebotomist or medical assistant says, “Hold this for five minutes,” I happily comply. And if they go for the tape, I insist on holding the gauze ...
    Posted to Stepwise Success (Weblog) on September 17, 2014
  • Questioning Physicians

    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 ...
    Posted to Stepwise Success (Weblog) on September 4, 2013
  • Towards Independent Practice

    Over the years, I have served on many hospital committees including the Pharmacy, Nutrition and Therapeutics (PNT) Committee. This committee is usually chaired by a physician and has tremendous input from an infectious disease (ID) specialist, microbiologist, pharmacist and registered dietitian. The laboratory has always acted as an ancillary ...
  • Self Control

    We all have moments when we lose self control, usually under stress of some kind: frustrated by highway traffic, pressed for time, shopping in a crowded store, irritated by arguing. In a similar way, stress in the laboratory can cause us to lose self control of a different kind: our own personal checks and balances in performing manual ...
    Posted to Stepwise Success (Weblog) on March 20, 2013
  • Bad Handwriting

    Nurses may complain about doctor’s bad handwriting, but we see it plenty. Often, it’s difficult to decipher a test or diagnosis on a requisition, and like a game of “Telephone” the message can be completely garbled if ordered by a third party on an inpatient ward. It’s one reason we ask our ward secretaries to fax any body fluid orders. It’s ...
    Posted to Stepwise Success (Weblog) on January 9, 2013
  • Don’t Bother the Blood Bank Tech!

    We have a sign in our lab that says Do Not Talk To the Blood Bank Technologist. It reminds us all of the nature and danger of distractions in our work: beepers, timers, telephones, instrument alarms, sensor alarms, doorbells, personal issues, and (not least of all) conversations. The only distraction a blood bank tech should be concerned with ...
    Posted to Stepwise Success (Weblog) on January 4, 2013
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