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Middleware and the Clinical Hematology Laboratory


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Caveats for Writing Rules

Slide 12

February 2009

There are particular caveats for writing rules that I would like to share with you based on our 12 years of experience within the laboratory.  Most important, rely on data not on individual case exceptions.  Don’t reflexively change your whole rule system based on one single case.  Make sure that you understand that exception and insist on sufficient data to understand what the impact would be of either changing a rule or writing a new rule.  It is important to identify what flags or standard operating practices (SOPs) are driving the current review process, in other words, what’s driving the work in the laboratory?  Be sure to review the data to see what happens in those cases:  is there no change to that differential count coming off the instrument, only very minimal changes that will have no clinical impact, or are there significant manual differential changes that warrant keeping a particular SOP or rule in place?  Be quick to ask the technologist doing the job what they think.  I am sure you will not be surprised when they are the ones that know where they are wasting time on a particular activity and when they are providing high value work.  It is important to never be afraid to ask why and never hesitate to ask for data.  Data is your friend.  Importantly, be creative; think of new ways to get things done within the laboratory.

Caveats for Writing Rules


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