The MLC BLog

QATrack+ v0.3.1 Scheduling

One of the features that gets requested most often for QATrack+ is to have a more flexible QC scheduling system. I've recently made strides towards this goal and wanted to update everyone on how the new system works.

Prior to version 0.3.1, QATrack+ used an "offset" system for deciding whether a test list is not due, due or overdue. Anytime a test list was performed, its due date was set a certain number of days (the `Due Interval`) from todays date.  Before that date the test list was "Not Due", on and shortly after the due date the test lists was shown as "Due" and beyond that the test list would be shown as "Overdue".

While this method of scheduling is still possible, v0.3.1 introduces a more flexible scheduling system based on recurrence rules (RFC 5545) similar to what you would find in other calendar applications. Recurrence rules allow you to specify schedules like "Every Mon, Wed, Fri", "The First Monday of Every Month", or like in prior versions “28 days after today” (now referred to as a "classic" frequency).

Since, QC data is not always collected on the exact day it is scheduled, QATrack+ uses the concept of a "QC Window" where a QC Window is defined as some number of days before the due date of a test list (the Start Interval), up until the date when a test list should be marked as overdue (the End Interval). If a test list is performed within its QC Window (or indeed after the QC Window expires) then the due date will be set forward until the next instance of the recurrence rule. If a Test List is performed prior to its QC Window, the due date will *not* be moved forward (this is the primary difference between the previous scheduling system). The following diagram may be helpful in understanding this system:

QC Scheduling

Lets look at a couple of examples to demonstrate this system:

  1. Scenario: A test list is scheduled with a recurrence rule of “The 1st of every month” with a Start Interval of 7 days and an End Interval also set to 7 days. The due date is currently set to Dec 1st. If the test list is performed any time before Nov 24th, what will happen to the due date?

    Answer: the due date will stay as Dec 1st since the QC was performed prior to the QC window start.

  2. Same schedule as above, except the test list is now performed on Nov 27th, prior to the due date, but within the QC Window. How will the due date be set?

    Answer: In this case the due date will be set to Jan 1st since the QC was performed within the QC window.

  3. Same schedule as above but the unit has an extended down time and the test list is not performed until Jan 10th over a month after its due date. What will the due date be set to?

    In this case, since the test list is past due, its due date will be set to the next occuring instance of the recurrance rule, Feb 1st.

  4. A test list is scheduled with a recurrence rule of “Every 28 days” with a null Start Interval and an End Interval of 7 days. The due date is currently set to Dec 1st. A user performs the test list on Nov 14th, what will the due date be set to?

    In this case, since no Start Interval is defined, the due date will be set forward 28 days to to Dec 12th. This is analogous to the system used in versions prior to v0.3.1.


Due Dates in the User Interface

If a Test List has not reached its next due date, the due date will be shown in green:

When a test list reaches its due date it will be shown in yellow.

Finally if a test list has not been completed within the QC window (`window_end` days after the due date) it will be shown in red.

Hovering over any due date will now show the test lists current QC window:


Example Frequencies & Admin

A weekly every Wednesday frequency, which also demonstrates the viewing of the recurrence rules on a calendar.


A "classic" daily frequency that sets the due date to tomorrow, no matter what day it is performed on:


A frequency for tests that must be performed at least once a week (Mon - Fri). Nominal due date is set to Wed with a window of 2 days on either side. :


A frequency for tests that must be performed the first Monday of every other month.



Wrap Up

This new scheduling system will be released as part of v0.3.1 and is available now to Multi Leaf Consulting customers using our QATrack+ hosting services.  There are more scheduling features still to be implemented, but this added flexibility to the scheduling system should be a welcome addition to many clinics.  If you have any feedback on this system or new features you'd like to see, please get in touch (!