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 software consultant can use them to reduce errors within your workflows.

What makes SOPs so important?

SOPs are formalized documents that outline procedures. They include step-by-step instructions that enable staff to perform tasks the same way each time regardless of who is following them.

Clinical diagnostic laboratories use SOPs to help ensure process compliance and to aid in quality control and quality assurance. It’s up to each laboratory to compose clear and understandable SOPs that adhere to the regulations that apply to its business.

Because comprehensive SOPs are required for regulated laboratories, they should be followed as written. That means labs have to keep them up to date, so they match exactly how processes should be performed. In our view, they should be living documents, not ignored in a binder on a shelf. When an auditor performs any type of inspection, SOPs are the first thing they look at—they’re a lab’s first line of defense.