Laurette Rapp is one of those creative users who has taken the customization capabilities of Qualtrax and run with it. Laurette is a Forensic Chemist and the Quality Manager for Acadiana Crime Lab. She’s worked in laboratories for over 30 years, and has spent 25 years at Acadiana. “We’re a full-service crime lab,” she said, “ISO 17025 accredited and AR 3125, in order for DNA testing to comply with FBI standards.”
With two roles in the lab, managing and saving time is incredibly important to Laurette. Document control and workflows help her effectively and efficiently manage her time, and removes some of the compliance pressures so she can focus on succeeding in both her positions. “With a CAPA workflow, that’s one less thing I have to deal with in quality management,” she said. “I can make a bunch of people responsible for their parts–the Safety Manager has all the safety protocols and documentation, for example–and then Qualtrax will track when tasks are being done.”
“For a 22 person lab, we have an impressive number of documents,” she said. “Before Qualtrax, we had to chase people down for files and folders. We’d know it’s somewhere in the building, but were unsure exactly where. Now that it’s all automated, it’s much easier. There are many hours saved just by not having to manually track things down, because you know exactly where it is.” Qualtrax also helps keep the documents up-to-date, ensuring that everyone has the correct and most recent version. “In the past, if you used the last worksheet, for example, you had to pray you had the most recent version saved on your computer to print more. Not an issue anymore.”
Those standard uses of Qualtrax are awesome, and are uses we always love to hear about. But we also had a sense that Laurette had gotten a little more creative with it. “I think very differently from other people, which sometimes drives my boss crazy,” she said with a laugh, “but other times it’s effective.”
When given the customization and versatile product like Qualtrax, it’s no surprise that she’s found new and unique ways to use the programs. “I made everyone give me a CV,” she said. “I made it a control document in Qualtrax, and, through the system, request that they update every year.” That’s not a function we’ve heard before, so we were curious: why? She explained that, “a lot of time, what they want us to do is give our credentials to the lawyers when they’re looking for discovery packets. This way, we have instant access to an updated copy of their CV we can send right away.” Further, Laurette can check to make sure the employees’ CVs have up-to-date and accurate information, including all recent trainings.
As a crime lab, being able to instantly demonstrate the competency and credibility of its employees is critical. More than that, however, it’s encouraging employees to continuously update their CVs in order to always be prepared. “It’s ensuring good habits,” she said. “When you get into the habit of updating it right after attending a training or some other professional development event, you don’t have to think ‘did I do that?’ when the time comes.”
The best part about being part of this community of users is being able to learn from one another, which includes our staff learning from our users about all the ways in which Qualtrax has worked for them in both expected and unexpected ways. To see that need and problem-solve a way for Qualtrax to help is exactly why we make our product versatile and customizable. It’s awesome to hear of our product being used to fill a need that even we hadn’t thought of!
Laurette will be at our User Conference this year; ”It’s always so much fun,” she said. So if you meet her, chat with her about Georgia Tech, about the best pies in Louisiana (Lea’s Lunchroom), and her creative uses for Qualtrax. And we’ll keep working to make Qualtrax a better product for every user.