Close

Cathleen Melendez

Barcodes in the Lab: How to Maximize Efficiency and Reduce Errors

Barcoding is extremely useful in a lab environment. It lets you quickly and automatically identify and track items like samples, plates, and reagents. But implementing a lab barcode system is not as simple as charging up a scanner and getting to work. To be effective, the scanning solution should be integrated with your laboratory information management system (LIMS). That means […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

How a Regulated Lab Ended Up Owning the Code of a Commercial LIMS

A surprising number of labs today still use pen and paper to manage lab samples, analysis, and reporting. But for forward-looking labs, a laboratory information management system (LIMS) offers a way to work more effectively through standardized workflows, tests, and procedures. That was the conclusion reached by the shareholders of an environmental contract lab. Recognizing that if they continued to […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

What Labs Need to Know About Risk Management in Software

Every time we ride a bicycle, drive a car, or travel by plane, we’re faced with the risk of injury. While we can’t completely eliminate all the risks, we can reduce our chances of getting hurt — think bicycle helmets, seat belts, and oxygen masks. Similarly, clinical diagnostic labs have to accept a certain amount of risk (this is known […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

Software Quality: What Role Does Testing Play?

No discussion about software quality would be complete without examining the role of software testing. In the previous post in this series on quality, we mentioned that software testing is a vital part of software quality control (QC). That’s because it’s used to find and prevent defects, ensure performance, and confirm that requirements are met. “Testing is the procedure of […]

Read More

Software Architecture: What Makes it Good, or Not?

Clinical diagnostic laboratories must have high-quality software in order to run reliably and efficiently. But quality is about more than just the software code. Quality must also be the foundation of the software architecture. When labs prioritize the quality of their software and software architecture, ensuring it’s built thoughtfully from the ground up, the quality and maintainability of their processes […]

Read More