Wednesday, July 1, 2015

complication by simplification

So, you might ask, what am I up to these days when I'm not on vacation?
Which is most of the days, really.
It's such a mess it's hard to explain. New computer system for the management of all samples, persons, families, analyses, results, and etc. That's a lot, and it's been ages we've been asking for such a thing. Up to now I've had up to six different Excel tables to update when reporting a test result, and that's just the result.
Anyway, after 6 months of training and of setting parameters and developing stuff the developer hadn't gotten around to before their latest client (us) decided to actually use all the functions promised, we have finally got the thing installed.
More or less.

I'm getting to my particular gripe now. Not going to tell you about all the other issues.
We had decided that all tests started in the old system would be finished using the old system. Then while I was away that decision was overturned, and now all test results have to be rendered with the new system. The old system has been shut down.

The other lab manager, MP, thinks this is not a problem.

But think about it for a moment. To generate an official, final report, one that concerns either one or two different samples (from the same person), and between one and five different genetic analyses using as many as three different techniques, I can't simply call up the model report form and have the system fill it out correctly.
For cases started under the old system, all the new system knows about that is the identity of the patient, any samples we received from her, and that genetic testing has been prescribed. It doesn't know what genetic test(s), or which sample was used for which test, what technique(s) was(were) used, or what the result was.
All of which it will know for a sample that arrives tomorrow, of course.

In all of our training and development, a results report is generated when all the tests pertaining to the prescription have been marked as done. MP thinks you can just short-circuit that if you have your prescription and your result.
Well, I'd like to know how, if getting the information about the pertinent sample on the report depends on an "analysis" (or more often several analyses) being linked to the sample, and then that analysis being completed. And if getting the information about what gene was analysed, and how, on the report also depends on there existing an "analysis" for each gene and each technique.

So knowing there's a prescription doesn't get you very far, even if you have the final results in hand. You have to type in all the tests to do. And since the sample received is usually blood, and we have set up the system to trace the transformation of blood into DNA, and it's DNA the tests are done on, it will not let you just cut to the chase without at least generating and then terminating all the intermediate steps.
This does not take very long for one test.
I would not mind for one test. Or even a handful
The thing is, 120 results reports are waiting to be written up, all of which concern 3 or 4 separate tests.
So don't tell me it's not a problem.

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