IT support for a quality management system

During the workshop on IT support, a list of was drawn up with criteria you should take into account when selecting an appropriate IT programme for your laboratory.

The requirements below are defined bythe participants of that workshop.

User-friendly

  • Familiar interface
  • Restricted access so that only relevant information is shown
  • Intuitive and simple
  • Logical structure
  • Multiple languages possible
  • Designed for labs -> results recording from routine EQA
  • It has to appeal to the lowest common denominator
  • Easy to implement all the data you already have
  • Does it require exclusive training of all staff?

Complete

  • Follow up of documents, audits, non-conformities, corrective and preventive actions, complaints, training, equipment, reagents, suppliers …
  • Extra: statistic information, printing possibilities of labels, graphics
  • Make a combination of modules and buy extra modules when lab is ready for it.
  • Customization, a flexible system built for purpose
  • Co-develop a system (expensive! / maintenance?)
  • The system should fit with the laboratory requirements and integrate with the current processes, databases etc.

Support

  • All aspects: product updates, new versions, maintenance
  • Populate it with all the data
  • Helpful/efficient after sales service
  • Confidentiality (confidence that the company will be there in 5 years)
  • Support from local IT-department
    • involve from the beginning
  • Support from people in your own lab with a strong training or experience
  • User groups of people using the same software
    • consensus in the group
    • afterwards coming to the company to try to implement it
  • Customer forums: feedback, questions

Costs

  • Especially for small labs
  • Initial costs + also hidden costs (new hardware, training, update, manual, extra license…)
  • Long-term cost: what if new requirements emerge?

Systems

  • Database-based (database centric): advice for the future
  • Document-based (index centric): ok for small labs
  • Possibility to link with other existing systems and databases: e.g. Patient database
  • Robust and reliable
  • Is the system validated?
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