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Lab Software

Four Things to Think About When Writing Lab Software Requirements

If you’re building custom lab software or a new integration, the first thing you need to do is gather a list of requirements. In our work with clinical NGS labs, we start every engagement with an assessment of the current state and gap analysis. It’s our role to help lab staff translate their knowledge of the lab and its processes […]

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Complex Lab Software: How to Best Manage it With Version Control

On the Semaphore Solutions blog, we’ve talked a lot about the importance of a lab’s software stack and strategies for managing multiple software components — some you’ve bought off-the-shelf, some that are fully custom, and some with varying degrees of customization. But one thing we haven’t dug into is version control. This is a key part of managing any complex […]

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Addressing Molecular Diagnostic LIS Functionality Gaps: A JMD Response

In a 2018 article in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics (JMD), the authors — Charles Myers, Matthew Swadley, and Alexis Carter — identified key gaps in functionality in laboratory information systems (LIS) for molecular labs. To continue the conversation, we collaborated with the Cleveland Clinic’s Molecular Pathology Section lab team on a response. In our article published on the JMD […]

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What Do We Mean By Software Development Best Practices at Semaphore?

Building custom laboratory software from the ground up requires robust planning and meticulous attention to detail. In the process of doing this for our clients and ourselves on our forthcoming product, we have developed our own software development best practices to ensure the implementation meets all the requirements. We’ve found this to be a magic mix — user and regulatory […]

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Build vs. Buy: Which is the Right Informatics Strategy for Your Lab?

Are you trying to decide if your lab should build its own custom software, buy off-the-shelf software (knowing you’ll inevitably have to customize it), or just keep stumbling along with Excel and paper-based tracking? The answer to this question will ultimately depend on your short- and long-term information system (informatics) strategy. How do you devise an informatics strategy? There are […]

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How to Set Up Your Software Environment for Maximum Productivity in the Lab

In today’s evolving market, labs inevitably need to make changes within their informatics software stack. The greater your lab’s efficiency in making these changes, the easier you’ll be able to keep up with new demands and innovations. How your software environment is set up can make a huge difference in how quickly you can validate new processes and updates to […]

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Lab Software Quality: What is Validation & Why is it Important?

Software quality is a broad topic and often not well understood by clinical diagnostic laboratories, which is why we thought it might be helpful to offer a quick primer. Commonly, the “quality” of software refers only to its ability to meet a set of requirements. But meeting requirements is just one of many metrics for measuring quality and if you […]

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How Your SOPs and Lab Software Can Help You Reduce Errors

In my previous post in this two-part series, I talked about how software can support your analysts as they follow your laboratory’s standard operating procedures (SOPs). This time, let’s take a closer look at how software that closely matches your SOPs can help your lab reduce errors, enhance morale, and improve patient safety. Two ways to view errors made in […]

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What Do Standard Operating Procedures Have To Do With Your Lab Software?

It might come as a surprise to some laboratory managers, but a lab’s standard operating procedures (SOPs) offer software consultants key insights into the workings of your lab. They also describe how your lab software should behave—assuming they are up to date. In this two-part series, we’re going to explore how SOPs relate to your lab software and how a […]

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From Paper to Digital: How One Molecular Pathology Lab Upgraded its Informatics

A lab’s informatics system is critical for its effective operation. As we discussed in a previous post, in the early stages of a lab’s business development, a complex system might not be necessary—the lab could simply use word processing or spreadsheet software. But as labs develop new tests and ramp up throughput, a robust informatics system becomes increasingly necessary. In […]

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