Software Quality and Lab Quality: What’s the Difference?

As we mentioned in our previous post in this series, the quality of your software refers to its ability to meet requirements. There are a variety of metrics you can use to measure quality — with varying degrees of importance depending on who you ask and what aspects you want to measure. Fortunately, a number of standards can guide you, and common steps can help ensure your software is high quality.

In clinical laboratories, quality is a foundational principle. It ensures reliable, accurate, and precise test results. This is critical because errors in any step of the testing process could result in dire consequences for the patient. It’s also important in the software industry, so it’s no surprise that we have similar goals and use similar methods to achieve quality in both cases.

The two complementary quality processes you need to adopt

Quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) are two processes commonly practiced in both the clinical laboratory and software industries. These processes require different skill sets, but the ultimate goal is the same — producing the highest quality end product. In labs, the “product” is the patient test result, whereas in software, it’s the end-user software.

Knowing the difference between the two quality processes is important for understanding the specific role each plays.