The importance of properly documenting and storing laboratory reports is not in question. Those in scientific fields often fear nothing more than they fear a successful experiment being invalidated due to incorrect reporting and record keeping. Unfortunately, flawlessly saving records can be complicated, challenging, and expensive when companies and individuals continue to do it the old fashioned way. The good news is that technology has given us a better way.
The Many Factors to Consider When Storing Laboratory Reports
Scientists have numerous factors to take into account as they store their laboratory reports, briefly described below:
- Depending on the specific project they’re working on, scientists have a variety of compliance issues to take into consideration, including both GCLP and BARQA. Generally, these compliance factors affect the ways in which they document their labs and prepare their reports, but there are also essential compliance concerns with the way in which these reports are stored.
- Creating defensible medical records. In certain types of reports, ensuring that they’re defensible medical records is important. In the event that a situation arises years after an experiment has taken place, records that were created previous to the incident are much more defendable in court, because they are seen as unbiased, versus records created after the issue was reported, which are more likely to be biased.
- No scientist wants to spend an hour searching for a file. Their time is limited and their interest is in moving forward with their project—not sifting through pile after pile of backlogged files.
- Whether there is personal information in a file that needs to be protected, or a scientist needs to keep their findings private, confidentially is critical in laboratory reports.
- Not only do scientists not want to spend the time sifting through files, they also don’t want to waste precious space storing them. Whether medical doctors are completing labs on patients, or scientists are completing important experiments, taking up space is a constraint that’s neither acceptable nor necessary in today’s world.
- Avoiding duplication. In laboratories that aren’t updated to the latest technology, redundancy can be a serious problem. First, the necessity of duplicating records in various systems and files wastes time that could be better spent doing other more important tasks. Second, it greatly increases the chance of human error, which is the number one cause of error on lab reports.
- While trying to find a specific file can be frustrating, there’s nothing more frustrating than spending that hour looking and realizing the file is gone. Whether it’s been filed incorrectly, never to be seen again, or it’s been inadvertently destroyed, when all information is kept in paper files the chance of loss is deleted.
- Natural disasters, fires, and other issues. Files can be lost in other ways, too—including through floods, fires, natural disasters, and theft. Keeping paper files onsite or at a storage location opens up the possibility of total destruction of those files.
The Solutions Available in Document Management Software
While the above issues can seem impossible to overcome, there is a simple solution that alleviates all of the major problems: document management software (DMS). The solutions available in DMS include a reduction or elimination of physical storage costs, including filing cabinets, paper, postage and FedEx fees, copies, and the hours that employees spend every week filing and retrieving documents.
Laboratories that choose DMS will also enjoy enhanced security features like heavy, leading-edge encryption, and frequent backups to off-site data centers. Those in the medical field will have quick, easy access to defensible medical records that can be retrieved quickly and easily from anywhere—including mobile devices.
eFileCabinet’s Unique Solutions
While any DMS will provide solutions to the above issues, eFileCabinet includes a series of features that are truly unique. First and foremost, the organizational structure of the software is easy to use, is intuitive, and provides time-saving organization that is perfect for busy people in the scientific community.
There are also a number of security features that can help with compliance issues and more, including:
- 256-bit encryption keeps confidential data safe and secure.
- Role-based securities allow laboratories to decide who can view individual documents or types of documents and reports. Support staff has access to the files they need, while permissions can be set up to offer only high-level employees access to the most confidential documents.
Compliance is a big issue as labs ensure they’re following GCLP, BARQA, and other best practices. eFileCabinet includes built in compliance with HIPAA and others. The third-party software integrations mean that labs can utilize the features of eFileCabinet while also using the programs they currently use. Finally, there’s no discounting the fact that using web-based, online apps is simply easier than dealing with paper. Crucial documents can be accessed from anywhere, and numerous employees can work together on the same document without passing the file back and forth.
Are you ready to learn more about the ways in which eFileCabinet can help you manage laboratory reports and documents? Then fill out the form on this page for a 15-minute demo to learn more today.