Validation Manager

Succeeding with Validation Manager [Part 1]: getting started

By April 26, 2024May 2nd, 2024No Comments


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Over the years of working closely with our customers to help them with their verifications, we’ve learned a few key things that make using Validation Manager smoother and boost laboratory quality.

Starting with Validation Manager is usually straightforward, but fully optimizing its potential often requires more thought. You may need to take some time to find the best practices and really make it work for your needs. Here, you’ll find some tips on how to begin. The next blog post will tell you how to keep on climbing the quality steps towards more efficient verifications.

Getting started with Validation Manager – repeatedly

After a laboratory has purchased Validation Manager, it’s often easy for them to get the first verifications started. But what can feel tricky is returning to it after a break, or helping new employees learn their way around it.

In this post, we’ll cover the key tips for getting started, whether Validation Manager is new to your organization or just feels unfamiliar to you:

  1. Question your current practices
  2. Make time for learning
  3. Tie your learning to your real work
  4. Accept that everything does not need to be perfect from the start

1. Question your current practices

As verifications are something that laboratories tend to do on top of everything else, there are often practices that stem from the lack of proper tools. A lot of time goes to different tasks related to managing data and gathering the results into the final reports, and you may take it as self-evident that this work cannot be avoided.

One of the benefits of using Validation Manager is that it allows you to focus on the important things. But to get there, you may need to give up some burdensome work habits.

That’s why when you start using Validation Manager, you should also start asking questions like, “Is this really the correct and most efficient way to do this?” or “Are we really focusing on the important things?”

You don’t have to fix everything right away, but you need to start with this questioning mindset to find the things you do outside Validation Manager that eat up your time.

2. Make time for learning

Some people find Validation Manager super easy from the get-go, while others need more time to get the hang of it. That’s why we’ve set up a learning portal with video training sessions, allowing you to learn at your own pace.

The key is to set aside time for learning. Try scheduling one-hour sessions with the learning portal. How many you need, whether it’s two or five, is up to you. But to make sure you actually do the sessions, it’s a good idea to reserve time on your calendar for them.

Since the courses are in video format, you might be tempted to skip them or just watch without doing the exercises. But that’s not a good idea. If you want to save time, you can speed up the videos. If you’re stuck on exercises, you can go back to the video for instructions. It’s important to think through the exercises, try to solve them yourself, and only look at instructions when you need help. This is crucial for learning to use Validation Manager well. It’ll save you time when you’re doing your own verifications later on.

The learning portal contains the basic features and workflows you most probably need in your work, along with some tips and answers to common questions. If you need more detailed info on any features of Validation Manager, you can dive into our user manual. And of course, if you’ve got questions along the way, our support team is here to help!

3. Tie your learning into your real work

Begin using Validation Manager for your own verifications as soon as you can. Try to find some simple projects to start with.

You can use old data from past verifications, or you can do reagent lot comparisons, parallel instrument comparisons, precision estimation with control data, and other small verifications to familiarize yourself with Validation Manager. Try out different study options and features, so you’ll learn what you can do in Validation Manager.

It’s good to start small, with simple verifications of at most a handful of analyzers and analytes. This way, you can figure out what works best for you. Then, when you tackle larger verifications, you’ll already be fluent in using Validation Manager. You’ll know which studies to choose, and how to plan and conduct your verifications efficiently.

By starting with small studies you might also find that Validation Manager can help you with things you hadn’t yet thought of. Maybe you hadn’t thought that you could need Validation Manager for your simple, recurring verifications, but you’ll notice that even they are simpler when done in Validation Manager.

As verifications stop feeling like such a big burden, you may also find it possible to do small verifications more often than you’ve done so far. This will make it easier for you to monitor your laboratory quality. And the more often you end up using Validation Manager, the easier it is for you to get started with a big verification when needed.

4. Accept that everything does not need to be perfect from the start

In Validation Manager, the first step to conducting a verification is setting up the tests and instruments you’ll use. This helps you later to find your past verifications and for example compare the results of new and old verifications related to the same analyzers. Creating new analytes and instruments is straightforward, so you don’t have to add everything at once. Just start with what you need for your first verifications. After a short while, you may have a better understanding of how to organize your departments, analyzers, and analytes to your Validation Manager to make your work as efficient as possible.

Once you have imported some results into Validation Manager, you’ll probably also start creating Word reports. As part of the training material, you received an example report template to help you figure out how you can customize your automatically generated reports. Building the template might seem challenging at first, as there are many options related to both visual things and what kind of content is shown and where. Therefore, don’t spend too much time in the beginning to come up with a perfect template. It will be much easier to figure out what you need and tweak it later when you see some real results in it. Don’t forget, as soon as you upload a new report template to your Validation Manager, you can easily use it to make reports for any of your existing verification projects.

Getting started is great, but if you want Validation Manager to really save you time and boost your lab quality, you’ve got to keep finding ways to make it work better for you. We’ll be covering these in the next blog post, so stay tuned!

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