Belize Government Launches Information Management System Project for Forensic Lab
The Government has introduced an Information Management System Project that is aimed at digitizing data at the Forensic Lab. Currently, the lab is operating a paper-based system which they have been working at converting to electronic-based. The project was officially launched this morning at the Radisson Fort George Hotel. According to the Director of the National Forensic Science Service, Gian Cho, this software will assist the unit in compiling its data more efficiently and properly and securely storing the information.
Gian Cho, Executive Director, Belize National Forensic Science Service: “This project is part of a digital transformation across the Government of Belize where you look at trying to digitize documents and records and digitalize processes which means you go from paper based analog systems to electronic systems. So at the forensic lab we have a predominantly paper based records management system at this time and it existed since 2006 when we moved into the current facility where we are now. For several years probably more than a decade we have been looking at solutions to try to install an electronic laboratory information management system which is what most modern labs whether for forensic labs, medical labs, any sort of lab they want to have an electronic information management system where you scan in an item, you enter information directly into the computer reports are generated electronically, you can have the option of digital signatures, you can have the option of keeping the entire record completely electronic and do away with paper. Some forensic labs for example in Costa Rica they have what they call a paperless laboratory information management system it’s almost totally electronic. So that’s what this investment and this project is about to get the Belize Forensic Laboratory which has been using a paper based system since 2006 up to 2022 to have a modern, it’s a commercial proprietary laboratory information management system customizable, cloud based, web based, secure LIMS we call it.”
Reporter: During your presentation you showed us a pie chart and you said it took your staff a couple days to populate, let’s say we had this system in place already how much quicker would that have been ?
Gian Cho, Executive Director, Belize National Forensic Science Service: “Almost instantaneously. So we’re talking about different types of systems like government SMART STREAM for example where you can run a report it produces an excel file and you can generate graphs, you can set the formula or set up templates so that graphs are generated on a weekly basis, you can look at dashboards every morning how many cases are pending analysis, how many cases are under review, how many cases are ready to be released, that information can be there as you log in the dashboard is right there. So we’re talking about that kind of system where it’s instantaneous the reports are set up to run on their own automated versus manually having to go and search through the information, create a table, fill it in from a paper system and then do your own graphs.”
As for access to the forensic software, Director Cho explained that the data will be accessible, but access to the software will be limited.
Gian Cho, Executive Director, Belize National Forensic Science Service: Several stakeholders won’t have access to it because it’s only for the laboratory analyst to use, to analyze evidence. When we say stakeholders will have access to it they’ll have access to the data that comes out from it. So it’s secure only forensic personnel will be utilizing the software. The data that is generated from those automated reports is what the stakeholders would have access to so just a clarification.”
The software is valued at two hundred and fifty dollars Belize dollars.