Situation

A top biotechnology and clinical diagnostics client grew exponentially with the success of its personalized medicine business. However, their clinical service labs experienced unacceptably long sample and results turnaround times due to the increased workload. Reporting to clinicians and patient treatment plan development was suffering.

The clinical labs selected STARLIMS LIMS to automate three of their highest throughput workflows. In addition, the client elected to integrate STARLIMS with their customer relationship management (CRM) system, Salesforce, to speed sample and test request submissions and results reporting. CSols, Inc. was engaged by the client to provide STARLIMS implementation, integration, and testing based on our STARLIMS, informatics integration, and regulatory expertise.

Objectives

The client’s primary goal was to increase productivity in the clinical lab and thereby improve the turnaround time for results reporting via a targeted STARLIMS implementation.

Challenges

  1. Requirements definition: the client’s workflow requirements were not finalized at the time CSols was engaged
  2. Suboptimal communications: inter-team delivery requirements were not well communicated and the project timeline was constantly changing
  3. Knowledge gap: the client’s configuration teams did not have the same understanding of the system and were unable to communicate effectively about required changes

CSols’s Role in the Solution

  • Expert STARLIMS development resource:
    • Reviewed each requirement and developed code to meet the need
    • Modified existing code for bug fixes and to enhance existing features
    • Configured settings to improve workflow design
    • Facilitated communication between the client’s configuration and testing teams
  • Expert STARLIMS support resource:
    • Packaged and imported new or updated scripts, data import-export files, and lifecycle options into the development environment
    • Created release notes, bug summaries, upgrade instructions, and drop code matrices
    • Tested new features and enhancements and resolved bugs
    • Smoke tested deployments and communicated approval to QA deployment teams
    • Promoted scripts and configurations to test and production environments

Benefits

  • STARLIMS customization increased productivity and sample throughput in the clinical labs
  • CSols developed new functionality, optimized existing processes, and streamlined existing STARLIMS workflows and utilities
  • The configuration changes suggested and implemented by CSols paved the way for future productivity gains as the system expanded
  • Testing and validation efforts were reduced in this project phase and future phases due to the creation of several detailed document templates by CSols. This included project matrices to track changes of system features, deployment release notes, and web service changes.

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