Our Blog

Six Common Roadblocks to Successful Competency Assessments

October 26, 2018
Despite our best efforts in the laboratory, Competency Assessment remains one of the most cited deficiencies at regulatory inspections. Guidelines, education and articles can help us to know what our competency assessments must entail, but actually being successful in implementing and maintaining a successful competency program still seems like a lofty goal for most clinical laborator...
Read More

The Five Most Common Inspection Deficiencies and How to Avoid Them

July 25, 2018
Laboratories across the country are continuously introducing more sophisticated testing into their routine test menu. At the same time, our career field is struggling for resources and regulatory requirements are becoming increasingly rigorous. ...
Read More

Life doesn't have to be so hard. Lean labs make life easier.

June 12, 2018
It’s so easy to get used to a certain way of life or be immersed in a particular culture, to the point that we are almost blind to alternate ways of doing things. This is often the case in the lab, where many of us have been there for years and years, and this is “just the way that we do things”.  ...
Read More

Automating Manual Processes for 21st Century Lab Leaders

May 01, 2018
I suspect you’ve been there – attending a department leadership meeting.  You went in preoccupied with a variety of issues: problems with the new immunology assay, disappointed that the early Marketing estimates for the new assay seem to be more “myth” than “math,” wondering how you’re going to cover another 6-month FMLA leave request, and getting all of your documentation ready for your inspection window.   A lot, to be sure – but you could handle it.  ...
Read More

Six tools every lab should start using today

April 18, 2018
Do you ever stop to think about where we were in the lab just 5 years ago, 10 years ago, 15 years ago? I don’t need to tell you that times sure have changed. Technology has not only improved the technical and scientific aspects of our labs, but also the day-to-day, run-of-the-mill administrative...
Read More

Automation vs The Human Touch

April 05, 2018
Laboratories across the world are tasked with increasing productivity and efficiency while maintaining safety and quality. One of the ways this has been made possible is with the introduction of laboratory automation. Automation increases productivity, decreases turn-around-time, standardizes workflow, and delivers valuable data collection. Laboratory automation has also been proven to help labs set new safety goals and evaluate new acceptable standards. See ...
Read More

5 tips for surviving a CAP inspection

April 03, 2018
I recently went through a CAP inspection for our lab. In fact, it was my sixth time having gone through an inspection. And even after this many times, I still have a little prickling feeling in my stomach as I await the inspector’s arrival. Lots of things are running through my head as the date ...
Read More

Managing the Winter Blues

February 01, 2018
For much of the northern United States, the winter doldrums have arrived. The post-holiday months of February and March loom before us, dark, cold and wet in some fashion. You arrive to work in the dark, and you leave work in the dark. Fluorescent lab lights artificially illuminate your li...
Read More

Reduce Your Competency Burden

December 27, 2017
Competency. Assessment.Are your hairs standing on end?Are shivers running down your spine? Hopefully not! It's not that bad, right? But managing your competency assessment program is most likely not your favorite thing about working in the lab. It's time-consum...
Read More

Life in the Lab: Reality Vs Media Portrayal

November 08, 2017
Most Medical Laboratory Scientists agree that one of the biggest challenges they face is explaining exactly what it is we do. Adding to that challenge is the fact that the media portrayal of laboratories and laboratory testing in general isn’t very representative of our reality (cue every medica...
Read More

He said. She said. Gender in the lab

October 03, 2017
I recently saw a meme posted in one of the laboratory Facebook groups where a man wearing a lab coat was standing in the middle of the lab holding his ears, as his numerous female coworkers “clucked” all around him. Picture a rooster in the barnyard with hens all around him. Whet...
Read More

Minding the gap between generations

May 30, 2017
One of the biggest challenges for me as a laboratory leader is learning how to manage the widening generation gap between employees. The majority of laboratories are currently staffed by technical personnel in either the baby boomer or the millennial generation. Both groups have irreplaceable valu...
Read More

CLIA, CAP, JCAHO: Six steps to being inspection ready … perpetually!

May 06, 2017
CLIA recently released their Top 10 Deficiencies in th...
Read More

I’m a supervisor. Now what?

April 26, 2017
From bench to leadership. I made the move from bench scientist to technical supervisor almost four years ago. While I expected to be unfamiliar with certain aspects of the position, I found I was actually minimally prepared for a few of the key responsibilities of the position. I’m g...
Read More

3 ideas to standardize your lab

March 03, 2017
In a highly regulated environment like the clinical laboratory, it’s easy to assume that we’ve got things covered when it comes to standardization. The regulations, requirements, and standards that we follow sort of spell things out for us. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for stand...
Read More

Marketing the laboratory career to millennials. 5 strategies to enhance your recruiting efforts

February 22, 2017
As a medical laboratory scientist and supervisor of our lab’s hematology department, I often sit in on interviews for open positions and take an active role in the employee selection process. If your lab is anything like ours, recruiting to fill an open position is no easy feat. Unfortunately, t...
Read More

Promoting Visibility: Unveiling the "mysterious" world of clinical laboratory science

January 27, 2017
As clinical laboratorians, we know that our important work is performed “behind the scenes.” It is touted as such to prospective students, to fellow allied health professionals, and to our family and friends who don’t quite understand what we do. But this “mysterious” aspect of our work ...
Read More

Nurses in the lab: One lab scientist's perspective

October 10, 2016
Have you heard the news that the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS), the government agency that oversees the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA), recently issued a ...
Read More

Patient connection: Behind the scenes

September 22, 2016
Medical Laboratory Scientists who work in labs to support patient testing may perform tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of tests every year. These tests give doctors specific information regarding a patient’s current state of health, are necessary to guide initial treatmen...
Read More

Competency Compliance 101

August 11, 2016
As laboratory professionals, from the beginning of our career we learn that documentation is everything. If it’s not documented, it didn’t happen. We speak a language of acronyms: QC, QA, CLSI, CAP, JCAHO, and LI—the list could go on. We live and breathe by regulatory standards and guideline...
Read More

Pitch Perfect: 4 myths that could prevent you from selling your ideas

July 25, 2016
After months of searching, you’ve finally found a solution to an operational challenge plaguing your lab and draining efficiency from your team. You’ve done the research and this new product meets every criteria point on your “Must Have” list. The only thing standing between you and achiev...
Read More

Competency tug of war: How one lab supervisor tackled this trick task

June 23, 2016
Whether you are making minor changes to your existing competency assessment program or giving it a major overhaul, you can expect some resistance along the way. Each year, the requirements for satisfying competency assessment have become increasingly stringent. While the intent is to ensure the tr...
Read More