Frequently Asked Questions - Document Control for Laboratories

These questions are compiled from webinars that we deliver. Have another question? Let us know.

General

Q: Does MediaLab, Inc. provide the initial conversion of all documents into the system?
A: The system allows you to upload your Word (.doc, .docx, .rtf, .odt), Excel (.xls and .xlsx), PDF (.pdf), Microsoft Vizio (.vsd, .vsdx), PowerPoint (.ppt and .pptx), image files (.png and .jpg/.jpeg), etc. No conversion is necessary. The documents will display on the screen as necessary.
Q: Can we use any version of Word or is there a particular version that is required?
A: Any version of word greater than Word 95 will work.
Q: Can this system be used for other areas of the hospital such as nursing?
A: Currently, it is specifically made for the laboratory standards. You could make it work for other areas, but we are not currently aware of the other standards required for nursing documents, etc. However, this may be included in Document Control in the future.
Q: There is no limit to the amount of people that can be logged on at one time?
A: Correct--we do not have a "concurrent" user limit. If you buy a 50 user subscription, all 50 users can be on at the same time.
Q: Are you able to deactivate users if an employee leaves and reuse that login for a new employee?
A: You can--exactly as you have specified.
Q: How is the cloud backed up?
A: We have redundant servers in two locations as well as a physical offsite backup and onsite backup here in the office (all encrypted, of course).
Q: How are network downtime issues handled for 24/7 access to documents?
A: We have a redundant system that makes sure our system does not ever go down. If we ever need to take our servers down for any reason (the only one being for a server update), we will notify you well ahead of time--at least a month in advance. Our system also provides backups of your files within the Document Control system that we encourage you to download on a frequent (weekly or monthly) basis. This backup will contain all of your documents (and revisions), signoffs, and any other relevant history and structure.
Q: Do you take enhancement requests from users? And how often are new versions available?
A: We do. We always love hearing enhancement requests--some of our most important enhancements have been by user request. Updates are sent out as they become available. Since it is an online system, you would not need to download new updates because they would become immediately available.

Standards

Q: Can this document control system be applied to Canadian labs and their different requirements for document control?
A: Our system was built to US standards; however, some of the standards are global standards for document control. With that in mind, the system does meet CLIA, CAP, Joint Commission, ISO and other standards. If there are any standards you think we do not meet, we would be happy to take a look and can let you know if we do or do not meet those standards. We will also do our best to try and meet those standards that we do not comply with in a timely fashion.
Q: Do you provide updated Joint Commission and CLIA updates as standards change?
A: We do--we are constantly keeping an eye on standards and update our system as necessary to meet these standards.

Notifications

Q: Are reminders sent to external email addresses or do you need to log into MediaLab to see reminders?
A: Both. We do send e-mails to users with e-mail addresses in the system. All users will also have a copy of any messages sent (or that needed to be sent) in a Messages tab within the system.
Q: Can email reminders to supervisors be sent on a timed schedule and for all employees at once, rather than multiple emails?
A: They can--our system allows you to set the schedule for how often these e-mails go out so that you can limit or let loose as many e-mails as your institution would like to see.

Editing

Q: What level of authority (user) can author or edit an SOP? For example, we may have techs authoring SOPS for supervisors.
A: In most cases, your techs would have the 'performing employee' permission. Performing employees cannot author documents. However, for documents they need to edit, they can be set as an administrator (those who help to prepare the system but do not do sign offs) or supervisor. The lab director can also author and edit documents.
Q: If there is a clerical error, does the lab director have the ability to edit a document?
A: He or she can make edits. The lab director can also send a document through the approval process and skip any necessary steps to jump right to his or her approval.
Q: How would the lab director annotate the document? Can he or she make edits?
A: The lab director would download the document for editing and upload the changes. If he or she is rejecting a document because of errors, he or she can make a note and list the erroneous pages in the rejection comment box. The lab director can then make the corrections and upload them as necessary and go through the approval process.

Approvals

Q: Can we have more than one approver listed?
A: You can. You can enter multiple people in an approval process. You can mix and match people in approvals as necessary for your institution.
Q: Is this product user friendly for System Laboratories? We have multiple unique medical directors that would potentially need to sign one single document.
A: It is. The system will allow you to set up custom approval processes to meet any type of sign off requirements. It can even simulate the need for sign off by more than one lab director via custom approval processes. These approvals can be set on a manual to manual basis.
Q: In a multi-site system, can there be multiple medical directors approving documents and final approval not being met until all have approved?
A: You can. This can be done with approval processes with multiple directors listed or by putting one document into two different manuals with their own approval processes containing different directors.
Q: Can additional signature lines be added for approvers? For example, QA review?
A: They can--signatures in the approval process will show up on the face page for the printed document as well as the sign offs history page for the document.

Reviews

Q: Can the system set annual vs. biennial for procedure review?
A: It can. You can do this either on a system wide basis or on a manual to manual basis.

Pricing

Q: Do browsing users count as "users" in price considerations?
A: The number of uses is based off of how many people you need to be: Lab Directors, Supervisors, Performing Employees, or other users in general setup. Simple view only users can be skipped in some cases using our document browsing environment (intranet link to a specific manual or set of manuals). You may, in some cases, still want some view only employees to count in your overall user count.

Support

Q: What level of support do you offer? 24/7, etc.
A: We are available Monday through Friday, 10AM to 6PM Eastern Time by phone. You can also leave a message for us if you cannot catch us during our phone hours and we would be happy to call you back immediately as support is available. We are also available by e-mail throughout the week. Other help documents are available to assist you if any questions do arise.

Other Products

Q: I'm interested in the Inspection Proof module. Does this module define all the required elements for a CAP inspection by laboratory type, with prompts for the lab to upload/verify completion/evidence for each element?
A: It does--the module would allow you to upload your Excel checklists from CAP, it will parse them and allow you to respond to the items. This is extremely helpful in an inspection as all of your users would have access to answers for their section of the lab--even if someone who knows the answer is gone that day.

Features

Q: Do you offer watermarks and time stamps for printed copies of procedures?
A: We do. Controlled copies will include a face page with relevant information (time stamps, signatures, etc.). Uncontrolled copies will be watermarked and will explicitly display information to explain who printed the document, when, the version, the page number, etc. to make sure it is destroyed after use. Controlled copies are more permanent documents while uncontrolled copies are printed for quick, temporary use.
Q: Are you able to access other documents via hyperlinks when reviewing a particular document that refers to multiple documents?
A: You can. Our system allows you to link document from one to another (with no limit on how many you can link). An example would be for a procedure that links to the required form.
Q: How is it controlled so that when a document is changed, forms or other documents that may be affected by those changes will get pulled for revision as well?
A: We have a notification for these linked documents that will let you know that they may need to be updated. This is especially important in the case of procedures with attached forms.
Q: Are there reports that can be called for an inspector that gives them a quick view to see document updates without going through each individual document?
A: There are--we have many reports for inspectors to allow them to see: performing employee sign offs, a full document index with documents needing an update, uncontrolled and controlled copy printing, and many others as well. The system was built to help not only your users do what they need to but also allow inspectors to view the system with ease.

Other

Q: Do you have a lab community where laboratories can ask questions / share SOPs etc.?
A: We do not currently, but we may in the future.