One word that simultaneously describes our product, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Regional Crime Laboratory, and criminalist Ashlie Robinson. The three have intersected in a powerful way that leverages software, a passion for best practices, and a desire to serve the community in critical ways.
Ashlie has been with the San Diego Sheriff’s Crime Laboratory for 18 years! Over her tenure she has been able to work in a variety of departments but has most recently found herself in a role with databases and software responsibilities, in addition to still providing analysis within the DNA unit. Last year, this ISO 17025 Accredited crime laboratory performed 15,000 examinations for about 30 local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. To state the obvious: Ashlie’s days are very full with high-demand work.
Qualtrax has been the Quality Management System for the San Diego Sheriff’s Crime Laboratory for two years now, and Ashlie is the administrator. When reflecting on her role with Qualtrax she said, “We are looking at ways to implement and expedite processes for the lab. I always have my hands in [Qualtrax] whether troubleshooting something, starting a new workflow, or document control.” We love that Qualtrax is being embraced as a resource for driving continuous improvement forward at an accelerated rate.
Workflows are one way that processes are being streamlined, simplified, and automated. Of the workflows they are using, Ashlie appreciates how the work authorization has positively impacted and expedited that process. She shared:
The process used to be that quality assurance would write up a page, it would be printed out, then it would go to management, they would sign off, it would go back. Now, it is a one page workflow!
Just hearing Ashlie detail that reality sounds more simple–imagine living that simplified reality each and every day!
If you talk with Ashlie for any length of time it is likely to emerge that she fights the tendency to do things in a particular way because of the “we’ve always done it that way” mentality. She wants to examine traditions and past processes and critically evaluate if improvement is possible. If it is, she pushes forward to achieve the process or procedural improvement. A major and exciting change for the San Diego Sheriff’s Crime Laboratory prompted this reevaluation afresh, as they just moved into a brand new, state-of-the-art facility.
Within local media coverage of the facility the Director of the laboratory, Mike Grubb stated:
“It’s always our goal to get cases turned around with the overriding factor being quality of work,” he said. “Quality of work is more important than speed, but we want to… get it to detectives as fast as we can.”
It is great to see that Quality Assurance took a front and center focus as they unveiled their new facility. It is also great to know our product has a role in making that a reality each and every day.
Considering how Qualtrax makes a daily impact, Ashlie immediately cited accountability stating, “There is no getting around that you haven’t done something.” Additionally, going paperless has been an organizational goal and our product supports that pursuit. Closely related is the shared and logical storage found within the document management functionality within our product. “You don’t have some random drive over here storing stuff, someone storing stuff over here, and then some paper file. It is a way to bring everything together in one location,” explained Ashlie.
One of Ashlie’s favorite aspects of our software solution is our people— how cool is that? She explained, “They are such a small family and they all have such a great sense of humor. You see the same names over and over again when you contact support. They make you feel like you are the only one who has an issue. For me, knowing that now, it is a relief.”
As Ashlie continues forward, with a dynamic process-improvement approach, we are ready and eager to help her advance her goals and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Regional Crime Laboratory, as they make critical contributions to society.
Category: Forensic Labs