At the beginning of the year, setting goals and resolutions is tradition. Why not start the year with looking at how your laboratory can implement new and smarter ways of working? Evaluating your current working practices is a great start to assess where you can remove non-value-added steps to increase the amount of time you spend on value-added steps of your process. Sample analysis processes can easily be streamlined and improved with the help of an intuitive and easy-to-use LIMS such as LabHQ. Here’s where LabHQ can help you work smarter in your lab.
A workflow is a defined set of steps to process a sample in the laboratory. Many labs that look to implement a new LIMS are looking for a system that can be configured to meet their chosen working practices rather than changing the way they work to meet the functionality of LIMS.
LabHQ’s design for customising workflows allows you to easily add and remove steps. From the static data setup page, you can easily drag and drop workflow steps and configure specific actions for each stage. For example, if your working practices require additional checks when results are out of specification, you can configure this within workflow set-up. In addition, if your lab processes products or sample types differently, LabHQ will also allow you to customise these different workflows.
So, when you have updated and streamlined your sample analysis process, LabHQ can be easily configured to match your new, smarter way of working.
A lot of laboratories that currently don’t use LIMS find it difficult to know how many samples are outstanding for analysis or where samples are in the process. Therefore, you rely on face to face communication which can interrupt the sample analysis process. This is how bad habits develop in the lab, and where LIMS can add immediate value.
Having a sample status board where you can quickly identify the amount of outstanding work significantly helps in managing the laboratory. LabHQ delivers easy sample tracking with the dashboard function. You can quickly see how many samples are in each status, when they are due for completion and if they have an outstanding investigation. By having sample tracking details electronically on the dashboard, you can easily kick bad habits away, and not disturb your team whilst they work.
Integration is when data is electronically transferred from one system to another. Laboratories often work with other departments, transferring information to and from each other. Within the laboratory, there is equipment that generates data that would require compilation and transfer to a central location. This is where LabHQ delivers huge time savings and reduces human error.
LabHQ Link is a module that is used to facilitate the transfer of data between equipment and third-party software. With LabHQ Link, you can easily configure data transfer by selecting the plug-in, the data location, and mapping the fields to LabHQ data fields. Once your integration is up and running, you can automatically import data, such as test results, straight from the equipment and therefore minimise the risk of transcription errors.
For most laboratories, test results are compiled and distributed internally or to customers in formal reports. Where a LIMS is not in place, this can be a manual and time-consuming task which has a high risk for transcription errors. Laboratories that use LIMS will find that reporting is a key functionality that makes this step of the process easy.
Where LabHQ can deliver the best benefits is the ability to customise reports. Not only can you customise the existing reports that are in LabHQ, but if you find that there isn’t a report that displays the data in a way that you would like to present it, you can easily create this yourself. With a combination of report parameter set-up in LabHQ and the use of Crystal Reports as the design tool, you can easily create custom, professional-looking reports in LabHQ to suit your needs.
Laboratory Managers are always asked about the efficiency of their operations and how they are delivering to expected turnaround times. LabHQ provides you with Laboratory Efficiency Reports as default functionality to help you track your laboratory’s performance. Actual turnaround times are compared against contracted turnaround times to calculate a success rate. This information is displayed as pie chart as a percentage of samples delivered within contracted times versus those that are not. So once you have streamlined your sample analysis process, you can use LabHQ’s Laboratory Efficiency Report to keep on top of your new, smart ways of working.