LIMS Introduction & Overview – Part 1

LIMS Introduction & Overview – Part 1

A software solution, LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) supports laboratories in automation, data management, and regulatory compliance efforts. LIMS helps accomplish this by standardizing operations, maintaining workflows, and documenting procedures, evolving beyond its traditional function of tracking samples from testing.

An integrated laboratory data management solution, LIMS provides tools for sample record maintenance, test tracking, customer management, and invoicing. An important modern LIMS feature is the configuration tool, which helps a lab retain its individual workflow requirements and terminology while making expensive customization unnecessary.

Modern Contribution of LIMS

The modern LIMS helps raise laboratory operational efficiency by automating and streamlining workflows. LIMS does this by making manual entry unnecessary and by complying with regulatory requirements. As a result, the keeping and reporting of laboratory records is greatly eased, significantly reducing the chance of human error and decreasing the time required for performing tasks.

Main LIMS Functions

A LIMS oversees each stage of the laboratory process a sample undergoes from its introduction to the conclusion of its life cycle. Below are the four stages that are typically involved:
• Storage
• Testing
• Reporting
• Archiving
When a sample is admitted by a laboratory, the LIMS process begins by entering the sample into its system and giving it an identification number. As the sample undergoes each stage, records are entered and data is updated for the maintenance of its audit trail within the LIMS.

LIMS Usage

1. Sample Registration & Management involves the maintenance of sample records. As a sample is processed and moved from one laboratory department to another, its records are updated to maintain proper tracking throughout its life cycle.
2. Test Registration & Management makes sure every test conducted is configured by the LIMS, easing the recording of results, tracking of approval & validation, and generating reports.
3. Archiving of Records involves the maintenance of older records as they are archived while maintaining a record of the chronological order of laboratory procedures.
Part 2 will discuss LIMS Benefits and Key LIMS Features.
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.