Proofreading is a critical quality control step in the process of ensuring that the artwork that appears on finished product is correct. Mistakes in this artwork can, and have, put patient safety at risk. Therefore, we would recommend that any tools that are relied upon to carry out part of the proofreading verification activity need to be validated and managed under an appropriate quality system.
The process of validation and subsequent management will ensure that the tools perform as they are intended to do so initially and on an ongoing basis.
We would caution against arguing that these tools are “just back-ups to the manual process” and therefore do not need to be validated. In our experience, once tools like this are in place, people rarely continue to perform a rigorous manual process, believing that the electronic tools will find any errors they miss. Clearly this is an unacceptable risk situation where non-validated tools are being used.
This is the fifteenth of a series of 15 blogs giving a view of the causes of proof reading errors. Please help me improve the thinking by adding your comments and share this with others who may have a view. To obtain an e-copy of our Top 15 Causes of Proof Reading Errors booklet, go to www.be4ward.com.