Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Have a problem? Talk it out.

My MA has been causing me some aggravation. As I said, she is fresh out of school--in school actually--and is doing her externship with me. She is a blank slate. Blank slates are good for many things, but they cannot be relied upon to send urine specimens to the lab.

As a urologist, I see many people with UTI's, or UTI related symptoms. I send many urine specimens to the various labs for culture. For my first 1 1/2 years on my own, our accuracy in sending patient specimens to the correct lab at the correct time was 100%.

Now that accuracy has fallen, and with that my headaches have returned. What am I to do?

Well, only one thing in my experience works with people, and that is talking. I asked her, "What can I do to make your job easier and improve your accuracy?" 60 minutes later she walked into my office and asked "Can I make a suggestion." Absolutely.

Her suggestion was to keep a running tally of the patients seen and the specimen to be sent, and at the end of the day she and I would spend 5 minutes confirming that patient A needed a urine culture, patient B needed a cytology, and patient C needed only a UA, ect.

Good suggestion, and you know what; it works.

Talking! Who knew?


The IU.