Lakeridge Healths large multi-site lab faced challenges with manual document control processes and accreditation management challenges which were exacerbated by staff shortages and growing test volumes. The lab realized that better document control was essential for accreditation compliance and also to enable their laboratorians to more efficiently access and manage documents. They therefore assessed a variety of Quality Management software packages and evaluated each according their needs assessment. Having chosen the Lab QMS solution from software vendor SoftTech Health, they offer recommendations based on observed pre-and post-change effects, including involving the IT department in the software assessment cycle, and the importance of user-friendliness in evaluating solutions.
About the lab
Lakeridge Health is a large healthcare network made up of four facilities. This busy lab provides a full test menu with a combined test volume averaging 3,000,000 tests annually. Lab services are provided and supported by a staff that totals 104 FTEs.
The Lakeridge Health lab faces many of the pressures familiar to todays labs: staff shortages, declining operating budgets, constant technological change, and increased demand for lab services. On top of that, the lab faces the additional time pressures of managing and complying with accreditation requirements.
Assessing the labs challenges
The lab had previously undergone CAP accreditation and was well aware of the additional demands that accreditation makes on staff time and resources. Connie Thurber, who led the accreditation team, estimates that she alone spent 500 hours in preparing for accreditation. Other team members, who hailed from each section of the multi-disciplinary lab, also devoted many hours to accreditation management.
These hours included time spent on meetings and other communications within the accreditation team, find