Quality Control Software

Garth Williams garth.williams at zetnet.co.uk
Sun Nov 24 12:24:18 EST 1996

-- Yet more quality control software?

QC-Record is a menu-driven program that provides a specialised 
environment for handling all quality control storage needs.  It 
incorporates facilities to store QC data, which can be reviewed in 
graphical form or as pure data, on screen or as hard copy.  Easy to 
set up, but at the same time very configurable, the program offers 
the opportunity for the user to define their own quality control 
rules, although it is supplied as standard with rules based on 
criteria proposed by Westgard and associates (A Multi-Rule Shewart 
Chart for Quality Control in Clinical Chemistry. Clin. Chem 
27,493-500, 1981).  Hardware requirements are low, and it will run as 
a stand-alone package, or across a computer network.

-- What can QC-Record do for me?

The main features of QC-Record are summarised below:

*  Immediate analysis of input data by user-defined rules
*  Will recall, edit, display, summarise and print stored QC results 
*  Calculates mean and SD for any defined period
*  Stores running mean and SD on stored data
*  Stores changes in reagents and/or standards
*  User-definable data ranges
*  User-definable program configuration (colours, printers, etc.)
*  User-definable tests
*  Maintains audit trail of changes to QC database
*  On-line help available 
*  Backup, restore and archive of essential data
*  Password restriction of sensitive data
*  Uses Expanded and extended memory if available
*  Automatically network aware

-- How easy is it to use?

QC-Record has been written by laboratory personnel, for laboratory 
personnel, and is used routinely by all grades of staff in the busy 
Biochemistry department where it was first planned, and where it is 
still being enhanced. It has undergone hundreds of hours of 
development over several years to shape it into an easy to use system 
that gives analysts the information that they require to spot and fix 
quality control problems.

-- Why would I want to use QC-Record instead of other QC packages?

Most other quality control programs are restricted in some way. For example:

* they may only be available if you use certain quality control products
* may be tied to a large product purchase.
* some software is designed by software professionals, not laboratory 
* some software gives you information overload
* some software buries what you really need in impressive but 
ultimately useless information. 
* much software doesn't allow for perfectly adequate, but slower, computers
* QC software supplied with many laboratory instruments only allows 
analysis of that instrument's data
* doesn't allow off-line data analysis, such from manual analyses or 
other smaller instruments.
* much QC software only checks against QC ranges, ignoring long-term trends
* limited storage capacity for QC in many laboratory systems

-- Does QC-Record need a powerful computer?

QC-Record will run on any PC-compatible computer from an 8088 to a 
Pentium Pro, provided that it has one floppy disc and one hard disc, 
640k memory, a mono or colour monitor, and MS-DOS 3.3 or above.  It 
will also run across most Local Area Networks, on widely-available 
network software, such as Novell Netware.
The basic program and essential files consume approximately 1 Mb hard 
disc space when first installed. Storage of results is effectively 
limited only by hard disc space. 10,000 results require approximately 
1 Mb data storage. If space is at a premium, older results can be 
archived to another medium, e.g. floppy disc, and can still be 
subsequently retrieved for data analysis.

-- Can I see it working before I decide if it's what I want?

A demonstration disc is available to give a flavour of the look and 
feel of the program. 
A limited-time fully working version will soon be available.

-- What do I do next?

Contact JGW Computing by email to:
garth.williams at zetnet.co.uk

Write to:
JGW Computing,
11 Bramley Close,
Colletts Green,
WR2 4SR.

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