Running a productive lab smoothly is tedious. Whether you are dealing with multiple samples or if you have an excessive number of deadlines approaching, following the practical tips given below will help in managing your lab efficiently.
1. Keep an eye on your stuff:
Your inventory covers all the specimens and reagents your lab will need for diagnostic or experimentation analysis. An effective way of sustaining inventory is to use a tool which makes use of barcodes to identify, categorize, and track samples. Regardless, the labels you utilize for vials, racks, tubes, and boxes need to be suitable for the atmosphere in which they will be used. For instance, labels marked ”cryogenic” can come in handy for any reagents stored in freezers or cell lines or specimens stored in liquid nitrogen.
2. Sustainment is key:
Maintenance of the lab infrastructure is vital to ensure the durability of your reagents and samples. Refrigerators and freezers need to be sustained at the ideal temperature, Co2/O2 levels in each incubator should be controlled carefully, and the stocks of liquid nitrogen and other lab supplies must be replenished. Systems which can control your storage equipment, offering real-time notifications and updates while keeping detailed reports and logs of all parameter related activity can make this entire process automated, with minimal human intervention, and will ensure that no other thing is missed. These type of systems work with a cloud-based framework and can integrate all reports in a single place and will notify the lab personnel if anything goes wrong.
3. Stay Coordinated:
Spending time in workflow management will enable you to enhance sample traceability, track inventory, improve the overall personnel productivity, and more. Incorporating a LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) is an excellent way to do this as it will note the movement of each sample during the testing process, monitoring its custody chain, and enabling users to schedule downstream processing, analysis, and testing in a smooth manner. Getting the most out of your LIMS by using barcoded labels is critical as both will aid in sample traceability and tracking.
Communication and coordination are also vital when incorporating any system that optimizes workflow. Holding regular lab meetings will enable you to create and control any LIMS you wish to utilize and also keep a good record of all lab activities with the help of well-annotated lab books and LIMS.
4. It’s the system, not the people:
No matter how organized the labs are, errors will occur. Designing barriers and openly discussing the mistakes will decrease the likelihood of them reappearing. By introducing multiple checkpoints and verifications, you can reduce the chances that the mistakes will stack up causing unanticipated consequences. But this should not be done without compromising the speed of processing in the lab. Maintaining lab infrastructure, keeping a managed inventory, and coordinating your workflow are all kinds of barriers which can prevent critical errors. Managing all related data in your lab books will also enable you to revolve the mistakes as each test or experiment can be verified with comprehensive documentation even if the person is no longer a lab member.
5. Utilize Common Sense:
Some labs are specialized in carrying out a small set of techniques that needs specific labels. For instance, Xylene resistant labels for histochemistry labs. Regardless, most of the labs do not have tremendous resources with which to buy labels and equipment. Managing a lab cannot be like a one size fits all approach. In this case, it’s crucial to assess what the issues are and to come up with answers from both financial and organizational standpoints. In most cases, simple solutions are enough. For instance, you can have signed up sheets either online or on paper for machines like biosafety, centrifuges, cabinets, and thermocyclers, etc.
6. Thinking Creatively:
Following the current trends are important. You need to make sure that you’re thinking in a creative manner even for simpler things as it can help avoid issues in the lab and also can enhance the research pace.
Efficient communication is crucial regardless of the lab you work in, but with every member consistently working on various techniques or projects, it's possible that they fall out of the habit of collaborating. Lab meetings are a significant way to solve problems, especially in the beginning of the week, so that everyone knows what their tasks are and how to complete them. It’s a good habit to make a relationship with your office mates even outside the lab as this helps to have excellent communication.
Hope the above blog helped you to know about managing a lab productively and their benefits in depth.
For More Information Visit MocDoc LIMS
As labs are updated and become more modern, better methods of data management and record-keeping may be necessary in order to maintain or improve efficiency. Luckily, there is a means to achieve this: Laboratory Information Management Systems, or LIMS.
With the increase in disease and the growth in medical diagnosis sector, the number of samples collected is increasing day by day. With the help of Machine interfacing, labs can handle a large volume of samples easily, increasing the efficiency of sample processing and quality of lab reports.
Types of Machine Interfacing in LIMS:
Unidirectional instruments perform one-way communication between the samples and LIMS. Results will be stored in the LIMS after the completion of the rest. The technician has to perform sample placement manually and decide on what type of sampling to be done.
The bi-directional Instruments are more sophisticated and advanced as they can generate both output data reports and results while also having an Application Programming Interface (API) to import data, information, commands, functions, worklists etc. into the system.
Our LIMS sends commands to the sampling unit on the type of sampling to be conducted with the given sample. After the testing is done by the LIMS command, the results are auto-fetched on the LIMS Server. The bi-directional instruments are interfaced with the LIMS system programmatically.
The need to Interface Instruments with LIMS:
There are a number of reasons why it is beneficiary to interface lab instruments with LIMS. Let us look into a few reasons here:
Increase in Productivity by Effective Machine Utilization:
Interfacing your instruments to your LIMS is a one-time investment of cost and work with a repetitive increase in lab productivity and effectiveness. Interfacing LIMS to your lab instruments removes many complexities like manual entering of data every time or referring data from other instruments to the LIMS. This altogether saves a lot of time and effort when done by a LIMS rather than manually, also avoiding any human errors during data entry.
Utilizing machine effectively can increase the productivity drastically. When the task is done manually, very fewer samples are completely analyzed in the given time period, but with MI they can perform many sample processing and that will increase machine utilization and increase revenue.
Increase in Data Quality by Reducing Manual Errors:
The second best reason for interfacing your lab instruments to your LIMS is the increase in the data quality and integrity. As a human, we are eligible to commit human errors that might not be over influential over the system as a whole, but might still be considered as an error. By removing the human interference, these errors are avoided thereby guaranteeing better data transfer in the system.
Similarly, transcribing data into the system by people can also lead to common errors affecting the quality of data. Data integrity is considered a very important issue in laboratories. By interfacing your instruments to your LIMS, you will eliminate this issue.
Saves Time in output generation thereby satisfying the patients:
Machine Interfacing helps to analyze the given samples at a faster rate and generates quality results within a lesser duration of time. After result processing is done, the report will be generated manually.
With the use of MI, ultimate patient satisfaction can be achieved by generating the results in a quick manner with good quality.
Machine interfacing in laboratories is more of a comfort rather than a negative factor. What might be a one-time investment in your labs can save a lot of time and work when interfaced properly with your systems.
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As labs are updated and become more modern, better..... Read more
Every industry modern laboratories are under pressure to enhance operational efficiency, decrease costs, control regulatory compliance, and improve quality. Apart from this, the rise of CRO (Contract Research Organization) and R&D externalization strategies in the industry of pharmaceuticals has led to laboratories gathering enormous data from different partners, preceding to a significant increase in the complexity of lab workflow.
LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System), Informatics Solutions are being used along the pharmaceutical industry to meet these challenges. The main reason why cloud-based LIMS is preferred is due to its advanced features like
● Decreased cost,
● Automatic software updates,
● Disaster and backup recovery services,
● Rapid implementation of LIMS,
One of the successful Laboratory solutions and laboratory report software used by most of the users is SaaS. Let's explore the SaaS in depth below.
What is SaaS?
SaaS(Software as a Service), one of the software distribution models and types of cloud computing like IaaS and PaaS. The third-party provider hosts the program rather than downloading and installing the software to run on your PC. Once the software is hosted, it's accessed over the internet by users via a web user interface.
Why SaaS, a cloud-based LIMS, is perfect for your lab?
SaaS, pathology management software provides plenty of excellent benefits that make it the preferred option of every lab. According to the Forrester Research Inc survey held in last year, 15% of SMB (Small to Medium Business) and 16% of the larger organization make use of SaaS. Compared to the previous year's research, the larger enterprise has seen a 33% increase in the Usage of SaaS. Considering the smaller enterprise, they have seen a 50% increase in SaaS. Below are some reasons to state why Cloud-based LIMS is the right option for your laboratory.
Few providers provide the private cloud option that is able to host within your facility. The private cloud option offers different SaaS LIMS benefits but with fewer security risks. A cloud is public; either it can be private, single-tenant, or multi tenant. It's easier to validate the single-tenant cloud when compared to the multi tenant as they are less prone to intrusion or data leakage.
Data Integrity and Audit Trails:
A permanent audit trail is vital for addressing different concerns in data integrity, both from the perspective of product and regulatory quality. You need to ensure that your SaaS LIMS holds a detailed and reliable audit trail for every information. You also need to make sure whether the data is maintained continuously on the various servers rather than on the data itself.
Apart from that, you need to ensure that your provider has set their system default to store a completely reliable and flexible audit trail. It also controls the network logs and detailed server. It offers data center third party auditing insurance. You need to ensure your SaaS LIMS is capable of integrating with the other informatics systems and with your instruments.
Service Level Agreement:
You must develop a Service Level Agreement with your provider who will be able to address all of the above-concerned areas and more. A Service Level Agreement that is well written is capable of making the variation between a smooth execution & roll out of your SaaS time overruns, cost, and few of the unexpected expenses incurred.
When dealing with a SaaS Laboratory Management System, you will depend upon your providers to secure your pieces of information as it is going to be stored in the cloud. Almost every cloud service providers offer excellent security for your valuable data.
Even though the data breach risk is less, few organizations that belong to heavily regulated areas hesitate to enable their information to move away from their firewall. Make sure whether you have evaluated the policies of your security thoroughly. It means you have your data secured adequately before working with SaaS LIMS.
The important compliance responsibility with every regulation resets with the service provider or manufacturer. Most of the vendors advertise these cloud-based SaaS LIMS as a prevalidated system. But this refers to the network of cloud providers. You need to ensure that you get clear about the meaning of the prevalidated system by the vendor. Also, you need to know what scope is covered so that you can know your system is executed in the right way in the user environment.
Apart from that, SaaS LIMS cloud providers handle every clinical laboratory software patches and upgrades. It ensures that you utilize the system's recent version. You need to understand who should manage revalidation once there is an upgrade or patches taken place.
You need to understand how data recovery and backup can be handled, and also explore who is the reason and responsible for it. The details of the guarantee like service, response time, hardware, uptime, etc. provided by the provider should be stated clearly in the SLA (Service Level Agreement). Apart from that, the Service Level Agreement should contain the details of recovery and backup services that are included. Also, it should hold the cost incurred by exploring a few of the optional services.
There can't be anyone who didn't use Google. For instance, what will happen in case a rogue asteroid crashed to the server farms of Google? Nothing happens. Airtight failover technology and Mirrored servers indicate that the news service will display the craters aerial photos, which once acted as the server farm. High availability and uptime are included in the terms & conditions of the cloud deals that are negotiated in any form.
The complexity of the SaaS LIMS is challenging. Private, hosted, and On-Premises cloud LIMS is capable of handling instrument interfacing in the same manner. It is difficult to understand the SaaS LIMS cloud providers' ability, track record, and philosophy when you deal with the instrument interface.
Economics of Scale:
SaaS LIMS cloud providers provide you more or less due to the technology's specialized use. As many customers utilize the identical resources at the same cost, data center, they are slashed, and then the savings passed to the customer.
In the past few years, technology providers have developed cloud-based SaaS LIMS based on market demand. SaaS LIMS enables to facilitate enhanced scalability, agility, innovation, and connectivity across the lab environment. It helps to increase efficiency in operation as well as decrease cost. The decision to make use of a cloud-based SaaS LIMS will be taken into step by a mix of various concerns like regulatory, operations, and security. The best way to ensure that your corporate benefits the higher from SaaS approach to a laboratory information management system is to work with a top-notch informatics consultant.
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The profession of laboratory management is a complicated one that requires the utmost care of the patients. The lab must convey a sense of trust to the customers so that they can entrust you with their samples for the analysis.
Clinical Laboratories can now Wave off Manual Work:
With all this hard work already being done by clinical laboratories, the department of HealthCare took a new turn when it was decided that a lab has to send results directly to the patients. This was mainly done to relieve the stress from the patients who are waiting for their reports from the doctors. With instant report generation, the doctors can now decide quickly on the critical cases.
The mandatory direct lab report delivery to the patient can be done in various ways whichever is comfortable with the patient and the lab. With the latest technology on queue, the task has been rendered easy for the labs to be in touch with the patients. In this blog, let us discuss the various smart ways in which a lab can send lab reports to patient and deliver the test sample reports to them.
Conveying the Message via Short Message Service (SMS):
Sharing reports via SMS can add on to the benefit of sample report collection. One small SMS on the result of the test analysis can set the patients mind at peace.
Lab reports once generated can easily be shared via SMS straight to the Patient or the Doctor, thus completely eliminating the need for manual handling, wait time or traveling. Reports of multiple tests performed by the patient are shared as separate updates to avoid possible commotion. With the intervention of LIMS in clinical laboratories, we help in conveying instantaneous report results to the patient as soon as the technician generates the results. SMS conveying system for test results has so many advantages some of which are:
No manual human intervention is needed
Immediate report sharing is made possible for emergency cases or critical patients
Conveying the Message via E-mails:
One of the fail-safe methods for accessing patients anytime is messaging via the electronic mails or E-mails. This way the patient can be notified even at their place of work without them having to visit our facilities for manual collection of the report.
Once the lab report is generated with all the optimum observation made from the testing of samples, it can be sent via an E-mail in PDF format of an attachment so that the patient can infer from the report and take the necessary action if any required. A LIMS linked lab can save a lot of unwanted manual task and convey the message to the patient and doctor immediately for analysis. It has the same benefits as that of SMS with an added advantage of the whole report being shared.
Report generation on Mobile App:
A pre-installed mobile app on your smartphone can even track your test analysis phases in your mobile and let you know when you can expect the test results. With just a few swipes, you can view your test results as soon as it is generated by the technician. What better than the confidentiality of your smartphone to let you know the results.
A smartphone with internet connectivity is all that is needed to access reports on the go. The advantage of the mobile app is that you can check the readiness of your report anywhere and at any time.
Direct Collection of the report from the lab:
Out of all the smart ways listed above, this method can be said as the last smart one. However, direct collection of the report from the lab itself is also the safest method when dealing with sensitive information.
Though it requires the physical job to get the report from the lab, it can also be completed by posting the report from the lab to the patient’s home directly.
The direct collection can be combined with all of the above methods of lab report collected by the patient. The patient can first be notified of the result and feel at ease to collect the report. With the full PDF as sent via an E-mail, the report can be viewed and consulted with a doctor also. This makes the task of collection of the printed report generated in the lab at ease and not urgent.
These were the few methods to send lab reports to the patient, the clinical laboratory can use all of the methods or some of the above to make the patient feel at ease with the lab and thereby creating a sense of trust with the lab.
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The rise of new technologies has made the volume of data drastically increasing day by day. The data volume generated globally across clinical research, biobanks, and other relevant testing laboratories are developing at a faster rate. Surviving the vast data volume and influencing it for research or business is stimulative for labs, especially if they don't possess a regulated mechanism to use and process the data.
One of the crucial reasons to invest in the Lab Information Management System (LIMS) is that it is used for organizing the data disregarding what type of industry you belong to. Information availability and rapid data growth have resulted in the extensive evolution of data management. Below are ten vital signs that state why you should invest in a LIMS.
1. Your laboratory holds higher operational costs:
Leading the particular portion of the allotted funds into laboratory personnel for management and data entry operations.
A Lab Information Management System frees human resources from time consuming and unproductive tasks, and therefore, they are considered as the high saver for your data entry and management operations. You will be able to pay-as-you-go on any basis like monthly or yearly if you prefer to go with a cloud-based LIMS. This means that you no need to make any investments towards hardware installations.
2. You hold transcriptional data entry errors and not able to share information (data silos):
It indicates poor data traceability, problems with connecting data across various data sources & instruments, and data's manual input leading to transcriptional errors.
A Lab Information Management System combines with other data sources and instruments flawlessly and manages the data in the laboratory in an enhanced manner. LIMS automated calculations save time and decrease errors for laboratory personnel. Apart from this, the information can also be retrieved accurately at any time.
3. When there is a risk in your laboratory data:
The sign is when you are not able to grab access to perceptive clinical information, no reliability, not able to follow the regulations based on your industries, making use of paper-based systems and spreadsheets to manage data in your laboratory.
A Lab Information Management System provided enhanced reliability and data security by matching the industry related standards, namely 21 CFR Part 11, HIPAA, and more. It also protects perceptive clinical information by hindering user access of unauthorized persons.
4. When your laboratory has inferior disaster management system:
Insufficiency of a suitable mechanism for data storage and retrieval in the event of theft, fire, or natural calamities.
A Lab Information Management System ensures data continual by copying data to mirror servers, storing data on the primary servers, and also make sure on the timely backups. The information can be managed in case of any theft, fire, or natural disasters.
5. When you don't have real-time data metrics:
The sign indicates when there are no updates to laboratory clients and users on sample processing stages when there are no notifications and alerts for sample expiry or inventory depletion, and when there is no real-time display of metrics of the laboratory in the main dashboard to watch out important problems.
A Lab Information Management System alerts you regarding the inventory depletion or assists in identifying expired samples with the help of alarms, and this makes sure about the timely inventory replenishment. The LIMS also helps you to stay updated on testing or processing samples in your labs by sending application notification or email alerts so that you will be able to know the critical problems instantly.
6. When your laboratory has poor traceability and limited data storage capacity:
The sign is when there are any difficulties in tracing the possible data instantly by searching over different piles of paper data when generating an extensive amount of sample information with the help of paperwork, and when there are too many piles of paper data in the labs, limiting the capacity in the data storage.
A Lab Information Management System assists in managing information electronically and helps to decrease paperwork. You can accurately and instantly trace information with the help of different tools. A cloud-based LIMS protects the data in the cloud, and this data is accessible in real-time and 24/7 available anywhere.
7. When your laboratory is unable to reach the expected productivity:
Delayed Turnaround Times and experimental analysis over industry averages, and influencing human resources for auditing, manual data entry, report generation are the vital signs.
A Lab Information Management System helps labs to plan data management effectively, accelerate operations, and execute different business decisions. It also helps in generating rapid reports and control an audit trail along with time stamp and date.
8. When you have sustainability problems:
When your competitors receive more orders when compared to you and when there are insufficient business agility and responsiveness.
A Lab Information Management System can help in making your laboratory business active amid the complicated global market.
9. When your laboratory lacks collaboration scientifically:
When there requires a high sample turn around time and data duplication for sharing with collaborators and partners.
A Lab Information Management System, particularly in the case of cloud-based, helps in decreasing errors, avoid data duplication, enables accelerated turn around time, and effective collaboration. Apart from this, it also allows us to achieve higher profit, market share, and productivity.
10. When you have no capabilities in customizing for your different data management methods:
Applying new changes to the existing data manually to the older records, and where there is no customizations option available with spreadsheets and paper-based systems.
A Lab Information Management System enables customization as per your requirements and is also considered as the highly configurable solution. Any new changes can be applied instantly on the original records and therefore saves more time.
I hope the above signs let you choose the right LIMS. Any other queries and comments on the Lab Information Management System are welcome.
The rise of new technologies has made the volume o..... Read more