Reduce risk and save valuable time with STACS DNA sample tracking solutions

By Chené Murphy | October 14, 2020

The following is an excerpt from the article:

STACS DNA delivers sample tracking solutions for forensics and healthcare that help laboratories, agencies and hospitals meet performance, transparency and legislative goals. We chat with Field Application Specialists Dr. Hays Young and Malena Jimenez to learn more about the benefits of STACS DNA and why every forensic DNA lab should consider their solutions.

STACS DNA offers software specifically targeted to forensic DNA labs. What are some of the challenges facing crime labs that STACS can eliminate or reduce?
Forensic DNA analysts often find themselves spending more time on routine tasks and documentation than on DNA processing. STACS eliminates a lot of the manual documentation with a convenient barcode system that tracks users, samples, batches, consumables and instruments to create an audit trail. This means that analysts can streamline their lab processing workflows, allowing them to be more productive.

What makes STACS DNA unique from its competitors?
Two key things make STACS DNA unique. First, we have been working with forensic DNA labs for 20 years and our products reflect a deep understanding of the DNA testing process. We stay on the leading edge of DNA developments and are working with clients on NGS solutions. Second is our customer service philosophy. We don’t sell software and say ‘good luck’. Our solutions are mature, fully configurable, and supported by a suite of services. We have done well over 100 customization projects and have a proven process. We work closely with our clients to deliver exactly what they need through customization, project management, training and ongoing support. We work closely with them to help make change management happen more smoothly.

Has the COVID19 pandemic had an impact on your work and has this shifted the company’s focus at all?
Since most of our clients are forensic and public health labs, they are considered essential services and have continued to work through the pandemic – and so have we. Our solutions have been critical as they help lab analysts and supervisors work from home to continue to process cases and be productive, even when they can’t be in the lab.

Hays, would you please tell us a bit more about what your role as Field Application Specialist with STACS DNA entails?
HY: I work closely with our current and prospective forensic DNA database lab clients to understand their workflows, pain points and how our solutions can be customized to meet their needs. This involves running demos for user groups, performing gap analyses, writing specifications for functionality that meets the needs of a specific lab, and providing end user training to ensure a successful implementation.

How does your previous experience with the Arkansas State Crime Lab benefit you in your current role?
HY: I was the DNA Technical Leader for the casework and databanking sections at the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory for almost nine years. This position gave me the unique opportunity to understand the casework and databanking laboratory workflows as well as diagnose, research and provide solutions for a variety of issues experienced by both sections. This knowledge is essential for being able to translate the needs of a laboratory to our developers so they can generate code that will make STACS perform as the laboratory expects it to. Having actual laboratory experience helps me understand the needs of the client and ensure those needs are met. I believe STACS DNA’s decision to have previous forensic scientists on the team is one of many reasons for the company’s success.

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