[Histonet] a question on ethics

Ostrander, Anita B aostrand <@t> seattlecca.org
Fri Aug 13 08:38:09 CDT 2004

Ron, If your manager absolutely refuses to set up various QC checks to help
prevent errors, is hiding errors, and is unwilling to do anything to improve
the quality of the work at your institution I would suggest the following.  
1.  I would ask for one more meeting with her where you presented all your
concerns to her in writing.  
2.  I would present her with several possible solutions that you could
implement for resolving each of the serious problems at your institution.  
3.  If she refuses to listen to you and continues to ignore the seriousness
of this situation you have no choice but to go to the next level of
management with your concerns and all of your written documentation.  If
that does not work, you need to continue to go up the ladder until someone
is willing to listen to you and work with you and your manager to start
resolving these problems. As a supervisor and as a Medical Professional you
owe that to the patients that are utilizing your institution.
I am really sorry that there are still Histology Mangers/Supervisors out
there that are more concerned with working to cover up errors than spending
that time in working to find ways to prevent them in the first place. I was
involved in a similar situation many, many years ago when I was a newly
minted Tech.  Unfortunately, because I was so "new" nobody wanted to listen
to my concerns about serious errors that were being covered up and hidden
from management. You are definitely going to have some hard times ahead of
you but I am sure you are going to have the support from everyone on the


-----Original Message-----
From: Ron Martin [mailto:pathrm35 <@t> adelphia.net]
Sent: Friday, August 13, 2004 2:27 AM
To: histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
Subject: [Histonet] a question on ethics 

Fellow techs,
I am in a difficult situation and need some serious advice. I recently (4
months ago) accepted a technical supervisor position in a dermatology lab. I
went from a bench tech at my old job to this position. I also walked away
from a raise at my old position so I could step into a supervision position.
I took the new position because I was told by my manager that she would
teach me some supervision, management and financial skills that I currently
do not have as well as the growth potential of the company.This position is
not what I was told it would be. Part of my "duties" include emptying the
trash, clean the bathroom  (not happening) and taking her personal and
professional calls. The question on ethics is the high volume of mistakes
made by our technician, our offices and also by my manager herself.
I caught a mistake made by our tech a few weeks ago.She put the wrong tissue
on the wrong slides as she inverted the two cases. I caught her mistake
before it went out. One time she assigned the same number to two different
cases. She then sent the correct case out for a consult (which wasn't
needed) and put the wrong patient name on the slide. Every other day there
is something different.My manager will not terminate her as she knows I am
seeking employment elsewhere and she cannot afford to lose a tech.
One day my manager gave three cases the same accession number.She caught her
mistake on one of the cases but I still ended up with two cases with the
same number. When I first started there my manager had a case in which there
" was no tissue in the container". She said that she notified the office
about the situation however up to six weeks later the office was still
calling looking for results.At that point she wrote up an incident report
and dated it six weeks prior to coincide with the surgery date.
Our offices are not any better. One case came in with the wrong patient
information. It took about 7 weeks for the office to realize that they sent
the wrong patient information with the biopsy as the names were close in
spelling.  The offices continually send mistakes with incorrect spelling of
patients names and incorrect anatomical locations.
 I have tired to document everything but there are too many mistakes and I
don't have enough time or energy to keep up with them.My manager wants us to
do our own "internal quality control". My interpretation of this is that she
doesn't want our physician and risk manager to know of these mistakes. Are
these becoming common problems or is it just my situation?
I want to emphasize that I hope I am not being unethical myself for
revealing this information but I really need some advice and support.I have
very high standards and they are not being met in this current situation. I
am currently seeking a new position but I need employment and cannot resign
until another position becomes available. I would like to stay in Florida
and if anyone knows of any positions please inform me as I am at my wits
end. Thanks in advance.

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