Sunday, December 5, 2010

I Love This Bar

Some of you are probably not followers of country music, and don’t know Toby Keith or his song “I love this bar”.  Part of the lyrics go “I love this bar.   It's my kind of place just walkin' through the front door puts a big smile on my face.  It ain't too far, come as you are.  I love this bar.” 
The song and sentiment is not about drinking, or about the location.  It is about the people. 

I raise this because in the last while I have had the time to ponder on being a medical qualitologist, I have come to the same conclusion.  I really enjoy the community of qualitology.

Over the last while we have been working on a number of projects.  UBC Certificate Course is starting to fill up, and our project with the I-TECH at the University of Washington is taking shape.  And our seminar series of Quality Management for Residents in Laboratory Medicine is shaping up as well, as is the planning and progress for our CACMID/AMMI Symposium in April and the Quality Weekend Workshop in June.  Plus, plus, plus. 
It’s good that we are busy, but what makes it all the more enjoyable is that each of these projects connects us with more folks interested in the same things that we are interested in.  
Folks in qualitology have a number of common characteristics.  They tend to be very positive, and hopeful, and interested in making what they do relevant to better workplace management.  And they see the direct link to better patient care. 

Each of these projects will end up creating supportive dialogue and improved information that will make laboratories better and safer and more effective.  And while I am looking forward to all of them, the seminar series for residents is top-of-mind.  Residency training is part of the continuum of progressive narrowing of focus that starts in high school and progresses through undergraduate college, graduate studies, medical school and specialty training.  I understand it, I am a product of it.  But what is really clear is that being finely tuned in the science base of pathology does not prepare folks for how to run an effective laboratory.  Our seminar series reverses that narrowing focus and says, “Hey folks…time to broaden out your attention.  Quality is not an innate topic, and if you expect to be an effective manager of people and information, you need to know this stuff too.  It’s call Management Responsibility and Management Review.
The series will include 10 presentations:
         Hour 1: Why Quality and Why Now
         Hour 2: History of Quality Management
         Hour 3: Quality Requirements
         Hour 4: Quality Standards
         Hour 5: Applying Laboratory Quality (1)
         Hour 6: Applying Laboratory Quality (2)
         Hour 7: Quality Partners
         Hour 8: Working with Quality Partners
         Hour 9: Costs of Poor Quality
         Hour 10 :The role of the physician laboratorian

If you are interested we will post the presentations as we go through January at


PS: The POLQM Weekend Workshop in June is shaping up to be really exciting.
Visit for updates as they come.

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