You might have had your fair share of losing track of samples or getting inaccurate results, which have, in turn, inconvenienced your clients and made it all the more expensive and time-consuming to track down
These avoidable slips can be quite distressing. However, there is a solution for all this. A laboratory information management system (LIMS) is what you need in your laboratory. If you are a laboratory technician, then this article is for you.
This article will guide you to understand how LIMS works, what issues it solves, and how to choose what LIMS suits your laboratory set up.
What are LIMS and what are their basic function?
A Laboratory Information Management System Software is a program designed to store, track and organize laboratory data electronically. This software helps manage samples regardless of the capacity of your laboratory.
LIMS is involved through all the steps in sample testing. The LIMS does:
- Sample management. This system keeps track of the samples, including the tests, results, and any other information related to a sample for easy retrieval.
- Instrument integration comes in very handy, especially when working with delicate samples that cannot risk inaccuracy. Instrument integration concerns importing test results directly to the LIMS from the testing instruments. All you need is to link instruments to the software, and it will automatically read the results.
- As the name suggests, the product specification is all about providing an easy indicator of the tests and results shown. Here you can make your LIMS generate sample labels or bar codes for easy identification.
- Reporting- Analysis reports and management are all available in the systems and customized to meet customer’s requirements.
What are the Benefits of Robust LIMS Software?
- Accuracy is a guarantee with some LIMS software. LIMS’s final reports that you will be sharing with your client are 100% precise. Accuracy is a plus compared to a typical working setup with your staff because then; there are high chances of errors, therefore, slowing workflow.
- Fast data entry and reduced labor is one thing to look out for, mainly if your laboratory works with volumes of samples because you need to run tests, keep an inventory, store data in an organized way, and, of course, give reports at the end. With cloud-based LIMS, you don’t need database experts or servers. Speed is made possible with Product specification, instrument integration, and reporting.
- Tracks reagents and lots. LIMS tracking ability means that you get an accurate account of reagents and solutions used in the laboratory daily.
- Flexibility, especially if it is a cloud-based LIMS, is assured. Flexibility in this sense means that you can access and retrieve data wherever you are.
- Security of the data of your patients is guaranteed. The chance of information leaking is very minimal and zero opportunity if it is a cloud-based SAAS LIMS.
Why a Cloud-based LIMS?
For the longest time now, ‘the cloud’ has gained an impeccable reputation when it comes to data storage. A cloud-based laboratory management system offered as SAAS is what you need to increase efficiency in your laboratory. Manual data entry is laborious and time-consuming.
- Flexible because you can access any information you need through a browser, and knowledge is accessible 24/7 globally
- Security is guaranteed as it has some features incorporated within to make it secure even with such sensitive data. These features include:
- Configurable user-based access control
- Daily data backups that warrant your data is never lost anytime it is updated.
- Malware protection
- Adherence to regulatory guidelines
- Cloud is fully encrypted; hence no unauthorized persons can access data.
- Customizable- Scales as your business or laboratory capacity grows. This means that you only get to pay for what you are getting.
Is SAAS LIMS suitable for your company?
Software as a service (SAAS) comes in handy if you are yet to invest in good networking infrastructure. With this, you get top-notch services without the hardware needed by subscribing to what works for you, be it a monthly or annual subscription.
As you decide on whether to use SAAS or purchase the required hardware, consider:
- What will it be, hiring or purchasing your equipment? For small laboratories that need minimal services, a monthly or annual subscription is recommended for you. Hiring reduces the total cost of ownership (TCO) and maintenance costs because all you need is a network and a few good computers.
For an established laboratory that receives many samples and performs many testing, purchasing the equipment would be cheaper.
- Is the vendor reliable and secure? Consider the measures they have put in place to ensure that your data is safe.
- Does the vendor offer quality services? To know this, check out reviews by other customers. If the vendor does not provide quality services, consider shifting to a more reliable vendor.
- Will all the functions offered by the vendor meet the laboratory’s needs? If no, consider getting another vendor.
Security is also warranted through a secure socket layer (SSL) that ensures your data is safe from phishing, data breaches, or any other cybercrimes.
LIMS is a simplified way of doing what you love if you are in the laboratory field. However, you need to ensure you use the most appropriate system for your setup to get optimal results. Get the right information from sites like webmed.