This laboratory information system is a software-based solution with features that supports modern laboratory operations. Key features include—but are not limited to—workflow and data tracking support, flexible architecture, and data exchange interfaces, which fully “support its use in regulated environments”.
Although the primary purpose of a LIMS is to track and manage samples, it can do so much more. It can:
As samples move from person to person and place to place, it’s easy for them to get lost or mixed up. Accurate, detailed records are essential to making sure everything gets done and done right. For example, a good record should tell you whether a sample meets project criteria, but they can be a pain to create and maintain. When you create a sample, most LIMSs will record and store information such as:
– Who or what the sample was taken from
– Which researchers/providers are working with i
– Where it’s been, and
– where it needs to go next
– How to store it
– When it needs to move
You should use an LIMS to automate workflows for the same reason you should use it to automate records keeping, but instead of saving work, this function saves you time. When you codify existing methods and procedures in a LIMS, you delegate decision-making to the software.
Because LIMSs are used across industries, some functionality are industry-specific. You don’t want to pay for features that are only useful to oil and gas companies, and you don’t want a LIMS that can’t handle everything you need to run a clinical lab.
Choose a LIMS vendor that either only serves clinical labs or at least has functionality built for your particular setting. Every year, our collective ability to store and analyze data cheaply and effectively improves, making data more and more valuable. The clinical lab setting is no exception. Data is one of your most important assets, so you should choose an LIMS that can help you get the most value out of that resource.
Which also includes assay data management, data mining, data analysis, and strong analytics with dashboards that are easy for management to read and easy for you to glean insights from.