Advantages of Integrating LIMS with Laboratory Instruments – Part 1

Advantages of Integrating LIMS with Laboratory Instruments – Part 1

The volume of data generated in today’s laboratories has risen significantly in the last 20 years because of technological advances in lab instruments and more complex processes. Thus, laboratories are seeking to maximize the automation and integration of laboratory operations to improve digital continuity for the entire lifecycle of each product.
Perhaps the most effective way for automating lab process is the integration of laboratory instruments with a LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System).
However, a great number of integration projects aren’t accomplished because of time constraints or lack of follow through. The following discusses the advantages of integrating laboratory instruments with LIMS.

Advantages

Greater Productivity and Efficiency – Laboratory personnel will save time and effort because they won’t have to perform manual transcription or the transferring of data from instruments to a LIMS. Moreover, bi-directional interfacing instruments are also programmable, capable of directly utilizing run information from the LIMS, which increases efficiency.
Improved Data Integrity and Quality – Errors resulting from manual data entries in laboratory workflows can be eliminated by instrument integration. Over the past few years, the FDA has been focusing on improving data integrity and quality. This is due to problems arising from the path data takes from a lab instrument to an ELN (Electronic Laboratory Notebook) or LIMS. These issues can be prevented by integrating an instrument with a properly configured system.
Increased User Satisfaction and LIMS Adoption – Laboratory staff dislike transcribing and manually entering data. They prefer carrying out research instead. The integration of lab instruments with LIMS results in increased user satisfaction and LIMS adoption.
More Innovation and Collaboration – The integration of instruments with LIMS decreases menial tasks and lets lab personnel spend more time on research, promoting innovation. Improved data integrity and quality leads to better collaborations with other labs because the quality of data continuity is higher. 
Part 2 will discuss several best practices for the integration of laboratory instruments with a LIMS.
Alpha Engineering LIMS Implementation
Alpha Engineering Associates, Inc. has been involved with the implementation of over 50 LIMS systems ranging in size from small, “off-the-shelf” software systems to very large, highly customized, multi-functional systems, including STARLIMS, for both governmental agencies and private enterprises. For affordable client-focused network consulting services and solutions, please call Alpha Engineering Associates today at (410) 295-9500.