Tracking issues at Fermilab

ESH&Q recently rolled out iTrack, a new system that will allow the laboratory to efficiently keep track of reviews and assessments in all areas.

Fermilab is subject to a rigorous schedule of reviews, inspections, assessments and audits. These range from internal inspections and self-assessments to regulatory audits required by state or federal agencies to formal reviews conducted by the Department of Energy or the FRA board. A number of methods for tracking the results of these examinations have been employed over the years, and this made it very difficult to track the status of findings across the laboratory in an organized and efficient way.

One of Fermilab’s goals has been to move toward integration of the numerous issues-tracking systems scattered throughout the laboratory to ensure better visibility, resolution, tracking functionality and consistency. We needed a program that had functionality similar to that of our old ones and, at the same time, that could remain flexible enough to handle multiple input sources. I am pleased to announce we have successfully met our goal through the development and implementation of iTrack. iTrack is now the one laboratory-authorized method for tracking issues related to assessments, reviews, tours, inspections, financial audits and other records and evaluations across the laboratory.

iTrack is an Oracle database that was built to integrate existing tracking systems such as frESHTRK. With a single interface, iTrack refers to all assessments, tours and inspections as a “review” and any finding, recommendation, issue or opportunity for improvement as an “item.” The single reference terminology allows the system to cover multiple input sources even though the terminology used by each separate input source is unique. The system also allows for greater functionality because multiple items can be entered for one review and multiple owners can be assigned as corrective action owners. The new iTrack program uses a KCA certificate for authentication to establish your identity and access rights as you enter the system. This allows for easier access and means you have one fewer password to remember. System enhancements include automatic email reminders for those who have been assigned items and the ability for “responsible persons” to update and close out their assigned items within the program.

The roll-out of iTrack is now in full swing. A quality assurance team is working hard on its implementation by working with all organizations to determine specific training needs. Additional information on iTrack, training and user guides are available on the ESH&Q’s iTrack website.

T.J. Sarlina