Are you thinking about automating your proofreading with a document comparison software? Then it’s important your choice is an informed one. We’ve put together a set of questions to ask yourself before deciding in favour of a particular solution.
Questions to ask yourself and your team:
- What kind of documents do I need to review, proofread or compare?
Automated proofreading software is based on the principle of document comparison. It compares an original approved document with a copy in order to find deviations or differences. The most future-proof solution is one that can find deviations in both text and graphics in a document (e.g. logos).
- What file formats do I need to compare?
Your solution should be flexible enough to compare different file formats at the same time. If not, you will be resorting to manual proofreading for non-compatible files. Typical file formats used in life science are Word, PDF, XML, XLS and HTML.
- Can the solution compare foreign languages, particularly those using non-Latin script?
It is not uncommon for life science companies to sell their products in many different countries, and therefore have to deal with documents in multiple languages. The regulatory affairs department many be centralized in one or two locations, and not have native speakers on the team. Using a proofreading software solution that can not only identify deviations but also comes with the option of identifying typos in multiple languages allows non-native speakers to easily check content and identify potential issues, saving time and translation resources.
- How many users need access to the solution, and are these users proofreading in the same office or across multiple locations?
It goes without saying that your needs today will not be the same as your needs in the future, as your business continues to grow. The software solution you choose should be easily scalable and easily accessible across many offices as well as remotely.
- Do I need to verify barcodes?
Barcodes are becoming increasingly unavoidable in life sciences. If healthcare and pharmaceutical industry codes are present on your labeling and packaging, you will need a proofreading software solution that can grade their quality to the GS1 standard.
- Do we want to manage the system ourselves, and if not, do we have IT resources to allocate?
Good proofreading software is easy to implement and requires few resources, but it’s important to clarify your organizations IT requirements from the outset. Make sure to involve a responsible from your IT department early on.
- Do I want the solution to integrate with workflow solutions such as Regulatory (RIM), Artwork (AMS), Document or Content Management systems?
Today, workflows are digital, often with different companies and departments working with different programs and systems. We strongly recommend that your solution have the option to be integrated with these programs and systems, making your choice future-proof.
Questions to ask the vendor:
- Is validation offered?
Validation is absolutely crucial in regulatory affairs and the life science industry as a whole. Validation support should be offered to help meet compliance requirements for regulated environments such as Pharma and Medical Device.
- How good is the solution in terms of data integrity?
Regulatory authorities demand data integrity from pharmaceutical and medical device companies. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) developed a fundamental set of principles for Data Integrity known as ALCOA. We explore this as well as the importance of Data Integrity in this article, but the bottom line is that compliance is essential.
How can a proofreading solution help with Data Integrity? Most importantly, the solution must respect data integrity rules itself – meaning it should never convert your documents to another format. Secondly, using a proofreading solution provides proof that your documents are complete, accurate and consistent across different versions or revisions.
- What type of training is offered?
Good training makes a good product even better, as we say, and most users and managers will agree. Proofreading software is typically easy to use, but going to a training session or completing e-Learning course can help users feel more comfortable with the tool and increase the return on investment (ROI) more quickly.
- What type of after sales support is offered?
When choosing, reach out to a few vendors. When you get the chance to speak with someone, evaluate things like: How responsive were they to your request? How knowledgeable were they? This will often give you a sense of how service-driven a company is. In terms of support, is chat available? Is support available wherever you are? What are the typical response times?
- Can I get a free trial?
A free trial gives you the freedom to test the system with your documents. If the vendor is unwilling to offer this or asks you to pay something upfront, avoid! Would you pay to test drive a car?
- Can I talk to someone who is already using the software?
Ask for a list of clients who use the exact solution you are evaluating, and then ask for the contact details of one or two you would like to talk to. Be sure to ask questions about the solution as well as their relationship with the vendor.
TVT is a proofreading software solution built specifically for regulatory affairs team. It allows users to verify text, spelling, artwork and barcodes all in one tool. With TVT you’ll experience:
- Time savings: Proofreading will be quicker. After uploading your 2 docs, you only need to review what has been identified as a deviation (and not the whole document from top to bottom).
- Security in your work: TVT is guaranteed to pick up even the smallest deviation, and everything is recorded in an audit trail report. No more sleepless nights worrying if you missed a mistake.
- Improved workflow: Whether it’s a reduction of correction cycles, or a more seamless interaction with your vendor chain, TVT will provide a piece of mind not possible with manual proofreading.