Why should you use a LIMS in your medical laboratory?

Why should you use a LIMS in your medical laboratory?
The operation of the laboratory business requires high accuracy, security, and processing speed of medical data. That is why you should consider specialized software for these purposes and the implementation of a laboratory information management system. LIMS helps standardize laboratory workflows and procedures, and in this article, you will learn more about this.

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The pandemic revealed how fragile the world healthcare system is, and showed us that there are a lot of improvements that need to be made. Healthcare facilities were unable to cope with such a huge number of patients and the lab tests needed as the virus spread.

Today’s eHealth technologies offer different solutions to overcome these kinds of challenges by handling large amounts of data, automating processes, assuring proper customer service, and accuracy in research. When it comes to laboratory activities and research, there is a top-notch solution to reduce paperwork, store big data, and minimize human errors: a laboratory information management system (LIMS).

What is a LIMS used for?

A LIMS is a software-based solution that helps laboratories with data management and automation of processes, allowing facilities to effectively manage the flow of samples to improve lab work. A LIMS also helps to organize tests, procedures, and workflows. LIMS software operates on an individual record basis and works best for groups of records that need to be processed at once.

When LIMS was first developed they were a system for tracking the movement of a sample in the laboratory. Today, a LIMS is the main solution for all data management goals for laboratories. This integration offers various solutions improving customer service, financial and other operations. Product information management (PIM) software has competed for other laboratory data management like an ELN (Electronic Lab Notebooks), but they have been replaced by LIMS such as accounting software, patient and other portals, barcode management systems, and other automated processes. 

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Is LIMS a database?

A LIMS is available as a standalone product, but it can also be directly integrated with the Fusion geological database to efficiently validate samples and send results to geologist clients. There is also an interface for requesting analysis and obtaining results for other customers of laboratory services including laboratory information management system software which provides a free and transparent flow of information between all participants in the technological process. The use of bar codes and other technologies reduces the chance of error and increases productivity and quality.

A LIMS is often integrated with other solutions like an ELN (Electronic Lab Notebook) database system for the planning and administration of experiments in the form of an electronic laboratory journal. An ELN often focuses on managing the unstructured data of experiments or syntheses, but also recipes. Dialogue forms are supported, which allow you to enter data in customized forms, tables, and large free-text fields, as well as capturing reaction equations and images. ELN systems are often used in research and development activities.

Why is LIMS important?

A LIMS is crucial for modern laboratories as it greatly improves all processes. In modern big data times, technological innovations are necessary.

Analytic laboratories accumulate a huge amount of data that must be processed. Many laboratories analyze thousands of samples per week. This makes the manual tracing and sorting of data very difficult and cumbersome.

Here is a general flow chart of analytical laboratories: transfer of a sample to the laboratory, its analysis, verification of the results (and if necessary, reanalysis of the sample), the lab technician’s interpretation, including statistical processing, preparation, and transmission of a report to the customer.

There are four main benefits of using a LIMS or a library information system (LIS) solution in a medical laboratory:

  • Sample management. Thanks to LIMS software, laboratories can accurately organize the records of each sample, carefully storing the data. While samples move from one department to another, it updates the chain of custody.
  • Conducting tests. A LIMS helps to manage tests by providing control of the testing process. Laboratories usually conduct a large number of tests, and a LIMS enables easy tracking of the results and reporting.
  • Inventory management. This is also an essential part of a laboratory’s daily routine. A LIMS manages reagents and stock supplies. The LIM solution also helps by keeping updated information related to lab equipment.
  • Reporting. A laboratory information system or laboratory information management system generates reports that include sample tracking, invoices, test results, inventory, an audit trail, and other data.

Where can LIMS be used?

  • Biobanks and Biorepositories
  • Clinical Research and Diagnostics
  • Cannabis Testing Laboratories
  • Agriculture Testing Laboratories
  • Oil and Gas Testing Laboratories
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What is the best LIMS system?

There are different LIMS and LIS solutions, and it's critical to choose the most relevant for your laboratory. Here are some most well-known LIMS:

CoreLIMS

This LIMS was founded in 2017 and is a product of Core Informatics, a division of ThermoFisher. It has outstanding, modern architecture, and succeeded in developing a vibrant app marketplace.

eLABInventory

Developed by Bio-ITech BV, this software has both LIMS and an ELN system. Also, it is convenient to use due to its browser-based interface. No installation on the computer is needed.

LabCollector

This PIM was developed by AgileBio (France), also has a browser-based interface and affordable price for smaller organizations.

BioVIA LIMS

What makes this PIM software different is that it’s more relevant for the biomanufacturing industry rather than clinical research.

STARLIMS

Another product of Abbott Informatics, this product delivers accurate results and data management and is also useful in logistics management.

Wrapping up

It’s no surprise that the success of any pharmaceutical company depends on the efficiency of its laboratory and whether it is performing research work or exercising quality control and compliance with the necessary requirements.

A laboratory information management system (LIMS) is software for automating the work of a medical laboratory. The introduction of LIMS in a laboratory setting increases productivity ensures compliance with regulations and simplifies the interaction of the laboratory with the other departments in the clinic.

The system makes it possible to structure the data of the various types of samples that enter the laboratory. A LIMS also makes it possible to store data. Automated assignment of analysis and studies when registering samples allows you to reduce the time spent on paperwork.

If you have questions about LIMS and its implementation in your business, do not hesitate and contact us at info@archer-soft.com.

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