Now a necessity for supporting a laboratory’s day-to-day operations, a LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) can come in many varieties. Some utilize customized software, while others use off-the-shelf systems provided by the vendor.
Similar to purchasing a car, a company should choose the LIMS solution that will meet both their daily and long-term requirements. The following will discuss three aspects of LIMS that can increase your laboratory’s value.
Typically, laboratories function in environments that are highly regulated. Regulatory organizations such as the CLIA, FDA, and ISO oversee laboratory testing, monitoring accuracy, processes, and traceability. A well-designed LIMS come with features that allow labs to comply with regulations governing data and audit trails such as 21 CFR Part 11. As LIMS are capable of direct integration with other laboratory systems, such as computers, data transcription errors are practically eliminated, protecting data integrity. Moreover, built-in standardized workflows and templates make batch processes easier to reproduce.
By accelerating, simplifying, and centralizing processes via workflow automation, a LIMS can raise laboratory productivity. This can also be enhanced by supporting direct connections with laboratory equipment and accessories such as electronic laboratory notebooks and chromatography data systems. Automation also results in the elimination of manual readings and recordings of instrument measurements, minimizing human error and resulting in greater efficiency.
LIMS’ centralized system improves the availability and accessibility of data by easing searches and reviews, thus increasing transparency. As a result, the members of a team will be able to share data more easily, which improves collaboration and promotes innovation. Reports regarding KPIs (key performance indicators) can be more easily generated and studied on a regular basis by group members, enhancing teamwork.
Centralization of data can help laboratories manage their resources with greater efficiency because analysis and reporting can be performed rapidly. Aspects of laboratory processes that can be improved will be found sooner and less likely to be overlooked. This can result in more revenue and reduced costs.
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.