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 the lab

When it comes to errors in the lab, there are two paradigms for evaluating them. The “person approach” asserts that humans are responsible for errors due to fatigue or carelessness, whereas the “systems approach” attributes errors to faulty systems.

At Semaphore, we firmly believe the second approach is more constructive. If lab software is well-designed and built with the right checks and balances, it can help detect and prevent human errors.

When an error does occur, rather than blaming staff, which can lead to potential shame and subsequent under-reporting of future errors, labs should focus on implementing changes to the system to ensure errors don’t happen again. This approach is much better for morale and puts the lab in a better position for addressing errors.