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There are many challenges facing clinical labs when it comes to quality, competency and maintaining accreditation.

With myriad software solutions out there vying for your attention, Qualtrax offers a unique solution: the ability to automate any paper-based process by building your own workflows in our system. No additional cost, no limit on the number or function of the workflows you create and the absolute best customer service in the industry.

In this webinar, Bryan Szpunar, Operations Manager at DCL Pathology, explains the decision to move his lab from a paper-based system to a lean, streamlined electronic solution with Qualtrax. DCL Pathology has been a Qualtrax customer for the last two years and is accredited through CAP, CLIA and also holds a laboratory licensure in New York State.

DCL Pathology struggled with how to maintain a high level of quality and compliance throughout the organization while going through a growth spurt, effectively doubling in size from 10 to 20 employees. Qualtrax helped their team get more lean in their processes by simplifying their document management system and driving process automation through our workflow platform, making it possible to centralize and simplify a lot of the things that were previously very manual in nature.

A laboratory of DCL Pathology’s size faces a challenge: it’s not yet big enough to warrant a full-time quality manager, but the burden of quality is too great to put on the shoulders of the rest of a team that wears many hats and bears multiple responsibilities within the organization. In selecting Qualtrax as its QMS provider, DCL Pathology effectively mitigated the need for that full-time quality manager while removing most of the associated burden from the rest of the staff. Qualtrax allows the team at DCL Pathology to work with a “quality-by-committee” approach, sharing the responsibility of quality and compliance across the entire organization – and it’s working.

The team has used the unique workflow function of the Qualtrax system to build a wide range of workflows that have simplified the most burdensome tasks associated with quality. Their stable of workflows includes:

  • Purchase orders
  • Events/CAPAs (aka nonconformities)
  • External Audits
  • Internal Audits
  • IT Access Change Requests
  • State Licensure Tracking
  • Analyte Performance Verification
  • Equipment Verification
  • Continuing Education Tracking

Getting buy-in from the team, particularly the pathologists, was one of the concerns on Bryan’s mind when he started looking into QMS systems. The ease of use and user-friendly configuration were big selling points for him, and his team ultimately agreed. One of their first moves was building a workflow to ease the burden of managing state licensure for their pathologists.

“Many [of our pathologists] have 10 to 15, sometimes 20 different state licensures they maintain, and all of those have different expirations and managing that can become a bit of a challenge for them,” Szpunar says.

By creating a tool to make the pathology group more efficient, it boosted the credibility of the system overall. Other workflows have streamlined additional facets of the business and the quality management of the organization, reducing audit prep time by up to 80 percent in many cases – which is a big deal for a small organization facing up to 12 audits a year from accrediting bodies and customers/clients.

“One thing that was a little unexpected for us is that most of our business development runs almost completely through Qualtrax now,” Szpunar says. “Everything from new contacts and issuing quotes, through managing pending quotes and then through the active and completed phases of our projects.”

The scope of the Qualtrax workflow engine is limited only by your imagination and the results speak for themselves, both in terms of financial ROI and putting guardrails around highly-regulated processes to ensure that all requisite steps are accounted for and documented appropriately.

“Honestly, there’s no real magic to any of these workflows in terms of them being complicated to build. The challenging part is usually the pre-planning phase and just figuring out how best to utilize the workflow tools you have available to you to meet your specific need,” Szpunar says. “Once you start building a workflow and have that vision in place of what you want to do, I think the tools actually make that quite an easy process.”

To learn more about how process automation can streamline and lean out your lab’s quality process, watch the full webinar here. Bryan gives you a full, in-depth look at some of his most effective workflows and ties them directly to the CAP standards they address.

If you would like to learn more about how Qualtrax can help improve the quality and competency of your laboratory, send us an email or click the box below to request a free trial!

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Categories: Process Management, Testing Labs

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