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Tag Archives: Fred Rodriguez

By Fred Rodriguez, Jr., MD, President, NAACLS Board of Directors

Competence: the ability to do something well (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/competence)

In my last posting, I commented on “quality” (i.e., a high level of value or excellence). “Competence” may seem synonymous with “quality,” but “the ability to do something well” may (or may not) result in a “high level of value or excellence.” You can possibly be assessed as being “competent” (depending on the standards used) and not have “quality,” but you certainly cannot achieve “quality” without being “competent” (as assessed by an appropriate set of standards).

Evaluating and documenting “competence” of laboratory personnel is required by CLIA ’88, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMMS) (and the “deemed status” accrediting agencies) mandate the assessment semi-annually for the first year of patient testing, and annually thereafter. Also mandated are the required methods for assessing “competence” (42 CFR 493:1413). These methods include:

  • Direct observation of test performance
  • Monitoring test result recording and reporting
  • Review of worksheets, QC, PT, and maintenance records
  • Direct observation of instrument maintenance
  • Assessment of test performance (PT/blind samples)
  • Assessment of problem solving skills

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by Fred Rodriguez, Jr., MD,  President, NAACLS Board of Directors

Quality: a high level of value or excellence (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quality)

For many persons, “quality” is like art. They know what they like when they see it, but when asked to specify the criteria used to determine “like”, answers are often vague and illogical. The vagueness and illogic comes from the characteristic of assigning “value” when assessing “quality”. Assigning “value” is extremely variable and personal, and is the basis for the cliché “what is treasure to some, is trash to others”. (Just watch the TV shows “Pawn Stars” or “American Pickers” on the History Channel.) 

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By Fred H. Rodriguez, Jr., M.D.

President, NAACLS Board of Directors

“The only constant in life is change.” This is an aphorism that I coined many years ago, and its truth is verified for me almost every day.

Hopefully when change occurs, the change results in improving a situation (i.e., in some way makes things better). Very often, however, we do not (or cannot) appreciate or understand why change is necessary. Hence, it is a consistent characteristic of human nature to prefer the “status quo” rather than to actively pursue or embrace change.

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By Fred Rodriguez, MD

President, NAACLS Board of Directors

 “inertia: indisposition to motion, exertion, or change”

(Merriam-Webster Dictionary, m-w.com)

Many individuals seek comfort in the “status quo.” They seek to be “inert.” They work to develop an understanding of the existing situation and “rules” in order to achieve a “comfort zone” in the here and now. There is resistance to change because change alters the “status quo.” Change forces individuals to learn new behaviors, or, at a minimum, to modify existing behaviors.

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By Fred Rodriguez, MD

President, Board of Directors

On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina attacked the city of New Orleans, and due to structural failures of the levee system because of inept construction, 80 percent of the city flooded. My laboratory at the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital, the LSU School of Medicine, Department of Pathology, and the LSU School of Allied Health, Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences were all significantly, adversely impacted by Katrina and the flooding. MEB flood

When disaster and adverse events occur, individuals often ask “why do bad things happen to good people”. What must be realized however is that individuals, for the most part, have no control over what happens to them. What individuals always control however is “what do good people do when bad things happen to them”. 

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Fred RdriguezNAACLS is very pleased to introduce its new Board of Directors’ President, Fred H. Rodriguez, Jr., M.D. Dr. Rodriguez was appointed as the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Representative to the NAACLS Board in 2008. He served as Treasurer from 2011-2012 and President-Elect from 2012-2013. He has been the Chief of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the New Orleans VA Medical Center since 1984, and Professor of Pathology at the LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans (member of the Pathology Department Faculty since 1977).

Dr. Rodriguez, a career federal pathologist, entered into the service of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) at the New Orleans VA Medical Center in January 1979. He served as a general staff pathologist with an emphasis in diagnostic electron microscopy, immunopathology, and renal pathology, as well as serving as the Medical Director of the VA School of Medical Technology in New Orleans. He is Board Certified by the American Board of Pathology in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology and Immunopathology. In August 1984, he was appointed the Director of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the New Orleans VA Medical Center (a post that he holds to this day). He continues to perform patient care service work in anatomic and clinical pathology on a daily basis at the New Orleans VA Medical Center as well as performing other administrative duties.

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