Sunday, February 6, 2011

Small World - Big World

In the last while I have become a little absorbed in the Communication of Quality as much as the Process of Quality.  Today I am extending that perspective.  .
Last week I was contacted by a colleague and was introduced to two on-line gold mines.

Pat Letendre is a transfusion laboratory professional and the coordinator of the TraQ website ( of the BC  Provincial Blood Coordinating Office (PBCO) that was introduced as a program of the province of British Columbia and the Provincial Health Services Authority when Health Canada introduced national standards for transfusion medicine.  TraQ is an absolute gold mine of Transfusion Management information in the main, but importantly has a lot of useful Quality Management information.   The site has contains a ton of information on standards and guidelines and Continuing Education and a huge number of valuable links (including one to the UBC Certificate Course of Laboratory Quality Management). 
The site makes it clear that the information is provided as guideline and reference only, and is intended for transfusion laboratory professionals.
The other gold mine, actually the mother-load, is “Musings on Transfusion Medicine” (  written as a personal blog of opinion by Pat Letendre.  Musings is a both fresh and mature blog, of considerable long standing.  Indeed Musings has been an active site  since 2004. 

Wikipedia says that journal or blogs sites have been making a presence since around 1997 and were seen as sufficiently mainstream by 2004.   That may be a true comment (we can’t trust everything we read in Wikipedia), but my guess is that Musings which started in 2004 had to be one of the first blogs dedicated to laboratory medicine, and by virtue of the fact that it has been on-line and live ever since must make it one of the most longstanding, which makes it a tremendous resource. 

What is fascinating about the on-line world is how difficult it is to get connected to all the material that you would like.  I have been running searches using a variety of search engines for a long time looking  for laboratory oriented sites.  I had not previously encountered either TraQ or Musings until Pat pointed me to them.  Considering that one of them  is based maybe 100 yards from my office, it points to the challenges of on-line communication.

Once I started looking more actively for laboratory focused blogs, I found lots where there was one or two entries, maybe three or four.    The number of sites that have years of activity are few and far between. 
I suspect that many laboratorians try it for a while and then either get board, or run out of ideas.  Or worse, what seemed like a good idea started to resemble work.  
My plan is to keep MMLQR as an active journal.  

Memos to self:
1: There must be a ton of sites of interest to clinical laboratory professionals.  The challenge is finding them.  If you have a list of sites with an interest for laboratory medicine, I would appreciate hearing about them.

2: Maintaining a web-log journal can be an enjoyable marathon if you don't cramp out in the first 100 yards.

3: Laboratory Quality is a topic with strong marathon potential.  


PS: Beware of on-line traps. comes to mind.

PPS:  We are starting to get registrants for our Quality Weekend Workshop.  If you have not seen the site recently you have not seen all our speaker bios and pics.  Also the agenda for the meeting is up.
Continuing education credits have been applied for from organizations for pathologists and technologists.

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