Now what if the proofreader were a “pilot”? Can’t we find a way of automating proofreading so that we reduce the risk of costly errors, allow the proofreader to focus on more value-added activities and increase the safety of those who depend on our accuracy?
Great news: Automated proofreading tools exist!
What’s proofreading anyway?
Usually, when we talk about the task of proofreading we mean finding and correcting mistakes in text. But it’s more than that. In the pharmaceutical industry, packaging and labelling has elements such as company logos, graphics, and a variety of different barcodes. All of this is laid out in artwork files that must be compared with an approved master document for mistakes or deviations.
Here, ensuring consistency and compliance is of absolute importance. Whatever the format (including online and hardcopy versions), all versions must be true to their original throughout the whole lifecycle. And the content format (font, type size, etc.) must be compliant with local regulatory specifications.
If your job is to sometimes check documents for errors, you might not even realize that what you’re actually doing is “proofreading”. While we need people like you to ensure the content reads correctly within its context, TVT ensures its consistency and compliance.
Your time is precious, so use it efficiently
In the regulated pharmaceutical industry, proofreading packaging and labelling is often just one part of a person’s job. Proofreading manually is time consuming and is time that highly qualified professionals can spend on tasks that add more value.
Automated proofreading allows you to proofread faster and more accurately. It frees up resources by delegating basic comparison work to a software. We know of very many cases where manual proofreading is carried out by two people reading texts out loud to each other. That’s a costly and very inefficient use of skilled personnel.
Manual vs Automated Proofreading
Even the most highly trained and skilled professional proofreader reaches his or her limits during a working day. It’s simply not possible for one person to find every error each time, day in day out, over a long working day. And yet the risks of overlooking a mistake in the pharmaceutical sector are enormous. Here are just some:
- Damage to brand and company reputation
- Jeopardizing patient health (e.g. incorrect dosages or instructions for use)
- Recalls, which are costly to the company but also can result in medicines becoming unavailable to patients, leading to poor health outcomes
- Litigation related to errors that result in misleading information or damage to patient health
- Reduced employee wellbeing due to related stress
In short, automated proofreading is more efficient, as it saves time, finds mistakes commonly overlooked by proofreaders, allows resources to be used more meaningfully and reduces repetition and cost – all while increasing accuracy and safety by reducing risk.
These are only some of the reasons why we created our automated proofreading software, TVT, the Text Verification Tool.
How TVT works
TVT compares a master document to a final version and highlights deviations between the two. The documents can be in different layouts and formats (e.g. an approved Word document compared with artwork in PDF format), or in virtually any language (including non-Latin scripts such as Arabic, Hebrew and Korean, or even Braille) and reading direction (right to left).
Formats such as tables are also easy for TVT. It finds deviations by inspecting Unicode, the unique computer code for each letter and symbol, as opposed to the actual words, letters and characters themselves.
The steps to compare the two documents are simple and straight-forward, carried out on an intuitive interface with a few simple clicks.All steps (reviews and actions) are documented, adding transparency to the proofreading process by creating an “audit trail”.
This trail adds more certainty, greater accountability and more proof of accuracy, making the task less stressful. And let’s face it, you can lose a lot of sleep in the pharmaceutical sector over the niggling doubt that an error might have been overlooked, whether it’s a printing error or the accidental inclusion of unapproved text.
Personalise your TVT
TVT’s core software can be added one or more modules that further speed up proofreading and reduce the number of document revisions.
Eliminates any spelling mistakes, taking in all major EU languages. Additional dictionaries can be added, such as Stedman’s® Medical Dictionary for specialized medical terms. You can also import and export your custom dictionary with in-house terms and product names, and switch easily between different dictionaries.
Instantly detects differences in artwork, so you don’t need to rely on visual comparison in print-ready proofs.
Inspects and grades various barcode types.
Module integrates TVT and any of its extra modules with information systems, allowing a complete workflow that encompasses proofreading.
I‘m interested in making my proofreading more efficient!
If you would like to find out how automated proofreading can increase speed and accuracy while reducing risk, contact us. TVT is very easy to learn and use, but we also support our customers with webinars, seminars, training and tips. You can find out more here.