Laboratory management can be challenging, especially when you try to keep your ducks in a row. With the implementation of a LIMS system, processes can be refined not only to create uniformity in your laboratory but to improve testing and throughput. Examples of standardised processes that a LIMS can facilitate include sample, test data and workload management.
"But the paper system I currently use already standardises these processes?" While this may be true, paper systems just don’t compete with the simplicity or pace that a LIMS system achieves - not to mention the subsequent financial savings that can be attained through the efficiency improvements.
Management of samples from registration to reporting are managed effectively through LIMS. LIMS works by storing all information regarding samples in one place. This information can include an automated sample ID, client information, batch numbers and testing required. This optimises and standardises sample processing abilities. Imagine, all information known and generated for samples stored against one sample ID, eliminating the need to cross reference between client labelling and your own. Sample consistency further improves cross department and client interaction.
Test Data Management
From submitting samples to the validation of data, the lifecycle of data is uniform across all aspects. The advantages to this may seem obvious, but don’t underestimate the benefit. Firstly, retrieval of data is decreased significantly. No need to rummage through archive boxes for regulatory audits or investigations. This also allows for fast generation of useful testing intelligence such as trend reports. It’s no surprise that paper systems can’t accommodate and automate this type of data analysis. A standardised process for data management means information is easily accessible, therefore driving efficiencies and cost savings.
LIMS services will allow consistent reporting too. Most LIMS will have reporting features with a click of a button. Information sharing becomes fixed in structure, allowing for easy interpretation and familiarity.
Turnaround time is a major concern for most laboratories. You need a system that is clear and easy to use to evaluate your workload. A good LIMS can show a real-time view of sample progress from submission to completion. LIMS can standardise the way in which work is undertaken or assigned. Knowing what work is outstanding and what work is completed allows for laboratories to keep up with customer expectations and increase capacity. Again, achieving this through LIMS is an instant function; no need for progress meetings, just glance on the screen.
If you’re a laboratory operating in a regulated industry, standardisation of processes is a vital aspect of maintaining compliance. LIMS can easily help laboratories standardise their samples, test data and workload management processes in a compliant manner, ensuring no duck is out of line. When implementing LIMS make sure it has the functionality to achieve compliance to regulations. Remember simplicity is key! To help you do this, consider writing a user requirements specificion (URS). Click on the link below for our free guide.