As we wrap up another year, laboratories are slowing down and turning their attention to maintenance, calibrations and their Quality Management System. Many laboratories may be preparing for an onsite assessment that comes around every 2 years, and being prepared for this is paramount. That said, it has never been a better time to implement R18LabQMS in your accreditation toolbox and engage all laboratory staff in the process.

One of our most frequently asked questions when laboratories inquire about R18LabQMS is, ‘How long does it take for complete implementation?’ The answer to that is, it depends. Many factors come into play so let’s look at a few: 

• First and foremost it depends on the level of time and effort that is allocated to the implementation process. 

• Is the lab currently accredited with an existing QMS that follows the guidelines of AASHTO R18?  

• Areas of accreditation for your laboratory will determine the equipment inventory and equipment procedures for cal/check/standardization/maintenance. 

These are just a few of the major items when considering the time to implement and create a comprehensive Quality Management System for your laboratory. 

Onboarding process

Once your R18LabQMS account has been initiated, a Primary Lab Manager (PLM) will be added to the account to begin the onboarding process. The PLM will then receive an email with instructions to create a password. Once login credentials have been created, the PLM will log in to the initial setup page and be lead through a step-by-step process within sections 5 and 6, the management and technical Sections of AASHTO R18. Once the setup process is completed, they will be directed to the “dashboard” of the application. 

If a laboratory has opted to add satellite laboratory accounts to their account, the setup process can be duplicated from the primary lab for each section. We’ll have more on this in future blog entries.

Feedback

Throughout the year we encourage users to provide feedback, which is very helpful with upgrades, improvement and compliance with the AASHTO R18 standard. That said, we have reviewed numerous comments and suggestions and have engaged our development team to begin on version 2.1 that will be implemented in Q1, 2020. 

R18LabQMS public site

Also, the public site is currently being upgraded with more information for laboratories. 

R18LabQMS user questions

Q:  I’m trying to better manage the weekly email notifications that are sent out for equipment procedures. We have technicians that have moved on and are still receiving email notifications. Is it possible to manage this, how is it done?

A:  Yes, no problem! Just to recap, each Monday morning users receive an email with a listing of procedures coming due; past due, current week, next week, due in 3 weeks, due in 4 weeks. Manage this list of procedures by going to the Manage Lab Tab, then email notifications on the left-hand column. There are 3 tabs, click on Equipment & Procedures. The left-hand column will have all of your major equipment categories, the top row will have all users names.

Resources

Once you work through the setup process, the following links can be found in the lower right-hand corner of the application:

Support
User Guide
R18 Blog

• WebEx – Additional training, please let us know.
• Onsite Training – Fee-based, please inquire.

For all questions regarding your quality management system, whether your lab is accredited or not, please contact us and learn how R18LabQMS can add value to your company.

Upcoming sponsorships 

2020 AASHTO re:source Technical Exchange
March 23-26 in Minneapolis, MN

 – Gary Irvine, R18LabQMS Program Manager