JMC visits the SC DHEC Lab

By September 16, 2020 On the Road, Our Work

Active communication and collaboration are the cornerstone of success during any implementation.  J Michael Consulting (JMC) strives to take this approach with our partners throughout our

A cart full of over a thousand coronavirus samples at the end of one workday at the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

projects.  JMC has partnered with the OpenELIS Foundation and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to implement the OpenELIS Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) in South Carolina’s clinical laboratory sections.  JMC has been working with DHEC for several years implementing laboratory workflows, electronic messaging, billing and instrument integration. To ensure we were all ready for the most recent phase of lab workflows to go-live with OpenELIS in the next month, a few JMC team members met at DHEC in August 2020 to interface the lab’s instruments with OpenELIS.

Curt Pasfield, Technical Architect, and Elena Jordanov, Configuration Analyst, working to connect the Panther Fusion to Rhapsody. Curt was often found wearing headphones, troubleshooting with remote JMC Technical Architects, John Park and Jyothi Kondamuri.

Visiting DHEC in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic was extremely enlightening.  We saw first-hand how DHEC shifted their entire workforce to prioritize and support the lab’s workload under the unprecedented influx of coronavirus samples.  A lab that was generally equipped to handle a few hundred samples a day had to adapt to process thousands of samples a day—at one point reaching upwards of 20,000 coronavirus samples a week.  Earlier this year, the JMC team responded to DHEC’s needs by developing the necessary technical infrastructure to support the novel coronavirus workflow.  While on-site, we were repeatedly told how much DHEC wouldn’t have been able to handle the workload without JMC’s support to implement OpenELIS.  Today, DHEC routinely processes thousands of coronavirus samples without backlog.

During our Site Visit, the JMC team—both on-site and remote—worked together to troubleshoot and correct errors from instrument interfacing.  We also assisted with the submission of quality assurance documentation and took the opportunity to work face to face with data entry staff, billing professionals and IT infrastructure representatives to make large strides in moving our project forward.

John Bonaparte and Christy Jeffcoat, key laboratorians in the Virology Department at the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, providing the JMC team with support and positivity.

JMC is extremely grateful to the entire DHEC team for hosting us so graciously as we troubleshot errors, worked through lab workflows, and asked questions about the science they were performing.  As JMC successfully checked off tasks from our To-Do list, we were always met with masked smiles and thumbs-up.  We are excited to continue our work with DHEC and the OpenELIS foundation!