Paper Chain of Custody Forms in the Environmental Industry: How is this still a thing?

Everyone, young and old, has moved on…

Except the environmental lab and consulting industry…

Excuses, mostly

Some counter-arguments to their excuses:

  • Electronic signatures were adopted by the Clinton administration fifteen years ago! Before Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Youtube, GMail, Google Apps, the iPhone and a huge pile of inventions.
  • Hacking into any system is of course plausible. But anyone can forge someone’s signature on a piece of paper too. Does this stop people from signing paper checks and forms?
  • Most relatively modern database systems, even old LIMS systems, can accept data provided in XML format via API requests or other automated import mechanisms with zero human intervention. To argue that your LIMS can’t handle a data input feed securely in 2015 is equivalent to saying that your system is completely isolated from the internet. It’s not.
  • If CoC data is inserted automatically into the LIMS, how does this slow down the sample login workflow? Doesn’t it do the opposite of that and speed it up, since there’s less keyboard entry (and typos) by the sample login folks?
  • If field techs spend less time in the field completing their work because of smartphone use, how is this even an argument?

An elegant solution

  • web app for sample generators
  • separate web app for laboratories
  • native iPhone and Android apps for sample generators that run in offline mode and sync when internet connectivity is available
  • field data capture including Florida ADaPT
  • photo and GPS location capture
  • grafiti-style signatures using your finger plus e-signature data
  • customizeable methods and containers list controllable by the lab
  • QR codes on labels
  • email notification for courier pickup
  • automated email delivery of CoCs in PDF format and importable EDDs
  • published APIs for LIMS integration for virtually any data captured in the database
  • tight integration with Promium ElementLIMS
  • private label/white-labeling feature for laboratories
  • and more

Founder of Terraine, owner of Adesso database sync platform, apps for env/energy & other industries (EnviroChain, @BernieSez). Great wife, 4 kids, and a dog.

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Jim Young

Jim Young

Founder of Terraine, owner of Adesso database sync platform, apps for env/energy & other industries (EnviroChain, @BernieSez). Great wife, 4 kids, and a dog.

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