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Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) is a software-based solution that is used in labs for data management and to process a large number of lab samples to manage laboratory workflow. Evaluating and choosing the right LIMS must be done after analyzing some salient features like cost, interface, the ability of the system to evolve based on your future requirements, etc.


In this blog, we will help you evaluate the best and cost-effective laboratory information system that will suit your requirement in the best way.





What to Choose Between Online and Offline Model of LIMS?


The offline model of LIMS software is an outdated one. Some disadvantages of using offline LIMS are:


  • Not user-friendly.

  • No mobile app facilities

  • Reports can be generated. But patients have to get the reports directly visiting the premises.

  • Patients record not synchronized with multiple lab locations

  • In case of a server crash, there is no possibility of getting data back. Less data security.

  • Future technology updates are tough to install

  • Maintenance is high.


Offline LIMS has some defects. Due to its unavailability online 24/7, the data collected can be stored only in a desktop, increasing the chances of data loss. The offline LIMS is best suited for small laboratories with only one clinical lab.


Why is Online Model of LIMS the Best Choice?


The online model of LIMS is based totally on the cloud. Hence the data can be viewed from anywhere in the world if they are updated on the cloud. Monitoring live instrument data with the right tools will allow your company to make faster decisions with accurate information and support the on-time delivery of reports.


A time-consuming, manual process will be transformed into a fast, automated process, where human errors in collecting and processing information will be reduced to zero, allowing the company to concentrate its resources on its core functions and attain higher productivity and efficiency in its work.


Some benefits of online LIMS are:


    • Low Maintenance cost.

    • Instrument data storage for auditing purposes.

    • An interface that works with any Database or LIMS.

    • Get future updates as notifications

    • Secure environment

    • Track updates with mobile app


Choosing The Right LIMS For You


Choosing the right Laboratory Information system depends purely on the requirement of the lab and the processes involved in it. You have to know the exact way in which the user data have to be logged in and the ways of analyses. This way you can easily find the exact LIMs software that would suit your requirement the best. Some of the requirements of a laboratory include:


    • Functional requirements

    • IT requirements

    • Interface requirements

    • Data management requirements

    • Error handling


It is best advised to have business flow diagrams that will clarify the workflow, requirements, process in the lab. This business flow diagram will help in considering the instruments and systems involved in the lab that needs to be interfaced with the software for harmonized workflow.


Understanding the Functionality Requirements


Understanding the requirements of your laboratory systems cannot be explained enough as the utmost important feature for choosing the right type of LIMS. A LIMS software used for the mining of oil and gas cannot be used completely for clinical purposes. Before investing in LIMS software by any vendor, it is vital to check that the software completely fulfills the needs of the laboratory. This includes the process of sample collection and data entry to the process of report generation and saving of reports. The functional requirements should be clearly listed and cross-checked regularly even after implementation in the system.


Some of the functional requirements that need to be checked in a LIMS are:


    • Laboratory Test Processing.

    • Test scheduling.

    • Sample Collection Methods

    • Sample Tracking.

    • Instrument control.

    • Report generation.

    • Quality control and Quality assurance.

    • Statistical analysis.

    • Resource management.

    • Laboratory Safety and Accident Prevention techniques.


Once the use cases that include the kind of user type is, sample logging method and result publishing are quantified, your functional requirements will get a lot clearer paving you for the best suitable LIMS purchase.


LIMS Future Upgrades


Choosing LIMS after a thorough analysis of your current needs is the best way of making an apt choice. However, the future in laboratory management might evolve with the changing technologies and more convenient workflow. Keeping that in mind, choose software from a vendor which is best suited for both your current needs and all your future needs.


Seeking advice on the improvement of the system might be too late when the implementation of LIMS software has already taken place. Jot down your requirements clearly and analyze the same with your team of experts who can justify the need for improvement based on futuristic updates.


When businesses want to add more location, tie-up with B2Bs, add home collection module, NABL policy changes, the LIMS software should be able to upgrade and adopt it.


This will ensure that your business is on-speed with the technology involved and can easily benefit from it in terms of productivity and workflow management.



LIMS Mobile Applications


Using LIS is the best method for the automation of Laboratory technologies. This implies that the process of computing of sample analyses must be done faster, more efficiently and there is easy workflow management with mobile apps.


Types of LIMS mobile apps:


  • Home Collection App

  • Runner App

  • Laboratory Owner App

  • B2B App

  • Patient App


LIS which helps pathologists approve data from anywhere in the most efficient system and can be extremely useful to labs and doctors alike. This saves a lot of time on the workflow. Automation of doctor approval in a mobile app can help LIS make more decision quickly.


These were some basic points that might help you choose the best-suited LIS for your laboratory. Choose cost-effective software for your lab, but don’t miss on the quality or vendor credibility while choosing the right LIS for your laboratory.


24/7 Support System


When you choose a LIMS software, make sure you are provided with 24/7 support facilities. When you face any issues with the LIMS software, you can contact the support professionals anytime and from anywhere and get the issues resolved quickly.


Data Security in LIMS


Security of data is the most basic need for any kind of industry; especially one involving the data and reports of patients. Implementation of a LIMS is specifically done to make the process easier and more secured, safeguarding the patient information from misuse. This has to be done while improving the knowledge level in the organization about the system by sharing the lab information accessible across various departments globally in the organization.


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Every modern industry laboratories are under intense pressure to enhance operational efficiency and to decrease costs, while at the same time controlling regulatory compliance and improves quality. 

LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) is adopted across various verticals to meet the challenges. The on-premises system fails most of the time to offer the flexibility which is required to stay competitive in today's economic environment; therefore, an on-premise system is not agile, connected, or responsive. 

Advantages of the cloud-based LIMS:

Integration, upgrades & implementation of the on-premise system indicates that the in-house  IT workers having less time to work on improved innovation systems & this can also be a time-consuming process. There are plenty of advantages for your organization in case your moving to a SaaS LIMS. 

Rapid LIMS implementation: 

You need not invest your time to set up servers or install the software. Most of the works are done already if you are using the SaaS LIMS. Apart from that, your lab can run on the unique LIMS quickly and also help your lab to be up.  

Scalability:  

Online based LIMS are best for enterprises with inconsistent user requirements. With SaaS, it's simple to balance your works either up or down, based on what is happening on your business, and it's enough to spend money on what you make use. New features, services, and a user can be added anywhere by just with the click of the button. The skill that SaaS offers can provide organizations using cloud computing a straight edge over the competitors.  

Accessibility and Collaboration:  

Online based LIMS allows hassle-free, and easy access to your data anytime and anywhere from different locations, multiple branches, and various systems with a secure login ID. This accelerates enhances collaboration within laboratories in organizations globally. Apart from that, the ability to access workflows and data from where you hold an online connection.  

Cloud services are providing mobile applications, and there are no restrictions for specific devices to establish the system.  

Levels the playing field:  

An online-based LIMS enables every type of small business to possess the ability to provide the organization-level features and functionalities on a pay as you reach the top. This results in, the small business running a LIMS can be more agile and nimble when compared to the large companies which are still making use of the on-premise legacy system.  

Decreased costs: 

By using the SaaS LIMS, there is no license cost, just a minimal installation fee, and no need for any databanks or in-house servers, no IT maintenance costs for software or hardware. You can only pay as your subscription you need to choose, and you can pay for the functionalities you need. The funds can be used to invest in essential businesses as there is no higher expense based on the Saas LIMS, and this can fuel the creations which are required to keep your company competitive.  

Automatic Software Updates:  

When you are using SaaS LIMS, the service providers take responsibility for security or software updates and patches to keep the system up-to-date. This indicates you get enough effort and time from your IT department, enabling them to put efforts over other initiatives of the laboratories which add business values.  

Disaster Recovery and Backup services:  

Any business needs a perfect disaster recovery plan, and the recovery solutions & the cloud-based backup solutions which come along with the SaaS LIMS are offered without the requirements for a more significant investment, making this vital protection of data services enabling every business in the verticals.  

Why is cloud-based LIMS the best option for your laboratory? 

When a SaaS LIMS provides the prospects for essential advantages, it is not the right option for any laboratory. One harmful functionality of SaaS LIMS is that it is tedious to modify the system based on the company's supported design options. Executing a SaaS LIMS in a more prominent company that already possesses a higher developing on-premise function.  

Below are some of the factors that need to be considered when you choose to work with a SaaS LIMS provider.

Security:  

You rely on the company to secure your sensitive data when it moves to the cloud and when you work with a SaaS LIMS. Most of the providers in the cloud perform an excellent job to offer a secure environment for your information, which are the highest vulnerabilities that are probably related to human nature.  

Validation:  

The vital responsibility for regulatory compliances always is based on the manufacturers. Few providers lease an online-based LIMS focus on a prevalence system, and this refers to the system of the cloud provider. Apart from this, the providers of SaaS LIMS handle any software patches and upgrades to make sure that you run the most crucial system version.  

Integration:  

You need to make sure that your SaaS LIMS has the scope to validate the informatics systems and LIMS instruments.  

Service level agreement:  

It's essential to create an SLA with your vendors that address any concerned areas and more. One of the best SLA can make the variations between the rollout of your SaaS time & cost and smooth execution along with the unexpected expenses made down the road.  

Hosting options:  

Some of the vendors provide a private cloud option that is facilitated within the facility. The opportunity offers different advantages of SaaS LIMS, but with controlled and decreased security risks. A cloud can be single-tenant, multi-tenant, private, or public. A single-tenant cloud is simpler to less prone and validated to intrusion or data leakage.  

Data integrity and audit trails:

An audit trail is vital to address various concerns of the data integrities, both from product quality and regulatory perspective. You also need to ensure that your LIMS online based SaaS has a detailed and reliable audit trail for any data, and also make sure it's controlled on two different servers when compared to the data.  

Simplifying certain things can add complications to the business processes when you move to the cloud. The decision to distribute SaaS LIMS will be presented by a mix of regulatory, operational, and security concerns that are unique to any laboratory. Working with the best online-based LIMS consultant is an excellent way to make sure that your enterprises required the best value from laboratory information management to new SaaS approaches.

For more information visit MocDoc LIMS



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Keeping up with the fast-evolving world of trends means that smart work with innovation is required. Having a smart-infrastructure built on informatics solutions can benefit the lab by implementing automation. Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) is a critical part of the system to be incorporated in all functioning laboratories for better results. The LIMS of today has gone far beyond just sample management invoking functions like resource management, workflow management and many more. By adhering to National Accreditation Board for Testing & Calibration Laboratories (NABL) standards, labs can manage NABL quality indicators easily.





Quality control in LIMS:


Quality control in LIMS is the process of assurance of quality at every stage included in the automation system. It may also be called as a statistical process used to evaluate the analytics produced in the patient’s results. The sampling of the product is continued after every successful stage until the end of the sample management process. Quality control is very essential in a LIMS used in clinical laboratories as the result cannot be tampered with. Quality control is done on three major factors in a clinical lab, which are:


  • Quality control on the sample

  • Quality control of the utilized equipment

  • Quality control for the process.


For quality control of the sample, the result might either be quantitative or qualitative. Meaning that the result can either be a number count (hemoglobin count in the blood) or can define if the test result is positive or negative or can be limited to a few different values alone.


Quality control checks on the equipment or instrument are used to validate whether the instrument is operating within pre-defined specifications, inferring that patient test results are reliable. Once this validation is completed, the result of the patient can be used for further diagnosis.


Sample management:


Sample management is the primary process of a LIMS system. Any QC lab needs to analyze many kinds of the sample depending on the industry of the laboratory. Our QC laboratory helps in the analyses of samples in a unique and distinct method. We have the following salient features for sample management:


  • Single sample management and multi-sample management  by using templated management techniques

  • Sample recognition field that can easily identify the sample and logs in the details, minimizing manual data entry.

  • Barcoded labels for sample tracking

  • Implemented workflow automation features for reduced confusion and increased productivity


Preparation and method Execution:

  • We have predefined execution methods for sample tracking, analysis of tracking response, complaint reception, reduce the dead time, and overall to increase the efficiency of our system.

  • Special features for execution such as content uniformity, dissolution, stability, etc.

  • Strict preparation and method execution policies like standardization, tracking of reagents, control of the environment, trainees, and equipment analysis.


Report Management:

We understand the importance of report generation and sensitivity in handling the report data. Hence we have assembled the following features for report management:

  • Instant visualization on any abnormal notifications.

  • Configurable testing methodologies and calculation techniques for managing high variant products.

  • Multiple level approvals with comment entries for sensitive results.


Specialized Reporting:

  • Flexible facilities that are fully configurable to the product and customer level including layout, content, units, significant digits, etc.

  • Bi-directional integration with SAP-QM or SAP Batches for finished product testing. Interfaces to other ERP/MES systems available.

  • Streamlined delivery of event notification and results to end-users via e-mail, fax, etc.


Decision Support:


The documents like SOP, analytical, maintenance, etc. are version controlled for ISO standard compliance.


Features:

As important as quality control is in laboratories, so is analyzing the proper features best suited for every laboratory and making use of it appropriately. Some important Quality control features are as follows:


  • Latest and updated versions of specifications are available on request.

  • Multi-level product specification management is made with controlled releases.

  • Sample management, sample storage, and reserve management are all done with accuracy.

  • Sample planning with the batch-wise process and test plan management is done.

  • Templated sample management by templating the sample at registration is effectively carried for sample tracking.

  • Quality control is done at multi-level, multi-departmental, and multi-premises.

  • Workflow management with work schedule according to work plan for analysts and instruments alike.

  • Accuracy in result capture and OOT management.

  • Quality control on instruments by instrument calibration and regular maintenance scheduled at different time intervals with a proper update on status lock for instruments.

  • Training on the new releases and sample management for every instrument is carried for every lab personnel

  • Any deviations from the original workflow are promptly recorded and validated.

  • Stability in the study module is maintained.


LIMS quality control process allows managing the data of products, samples, and instruments alike on a regular basis by monitoring at various levels. This ensures that quality can be monitored and, if necessary, actions to improve quality.


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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:


Uni-Directional Instruments:


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.


Bi-directional Instruments:


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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Lab Management Software is simply a tool that can ease the operations involved in modern laboratories by automating most of them. As an all-inclusive software including lab management system, ERP tools, data analytics tool and virtual software, LIMS efficiently works out on the laboratory informatics. While each of the operations involved in LIMS is possible manually, why should one choose the software? Here is why:


1. LIMS is Error-free

Being error-free is the first and most important feature of LIMS software. Lab management being a tedious process involving many stages, the probability of data mismatch, incorrect readings, and erroneous updates are more when manually handled. Hence, an automated system such as Lab Information Management Software can largely help in ensuring record precision.


2. Centralized data access

LIMS extends to ease of access to patient records and reports. Thus, any referencing or verification of patient details can be done in a jiffy or shared with clinicians, technicians, and others instantly. It furthermore auto-updates critical values and crisis situations, thus ensuring immediate attention to the demanding cases.


3. Integrate with Instruments

Analysis and testing performed on clinical instruments can be directly linked with the Lab Information Management System. And LIMS shall automatically obtain test results from the instrument and store them in its primary database which can then be shared, reviewed and maintained at any point of time. This completely eliminates the need for manual handling that has very high chances of errors and is extremely time-consuming.

4. Instant updates to patients and patient satisfaction

Without having to move to and fro for obtaining lab test results, patients get auto-updated through SMS or email (as opted). Concise test results are sent as SMS or emails with a PDF attachment. The software also keeps patients informed of the progress of laboratory testing from time to time which helps them gain confidence and affirm about the progress. And invoicing are done upon completion of the process.


5. Sample Tracking

LIMS initiates a track record of the samples right at the point when a sample is collected from patients. The records maintained includes clinical reports, phenotypic information, freezer location, etc. In many cases, the freezer location is fed in detail such that the row, column, rack, box, and shelf are precisely specified. The software tool maintains a thorough track record of all freeze cycles and thaw cycles that the sample gets subjected to, details of collection center, clinician/lab technician who handled the sample, sample

movement tracking, and so on. With this information, LIMS makes 100% sure that the sample does not get mismatched or lost at any point of time during the entire course of the process.


6. Improve TAT

The overall time required from the start when the sample is collected until the reports are shared with patients/clinicians for further procedures, the manual handling is reduced, thus reducing error and the need for cross-verification at various points. LIMS also automatically manages and calibrates medical instruments connected with it and auto-updates in case of alarming readings/reports. This improves the overall Turnaround Time of the entire process.


7. Hassle-free workflow

LIMS automates workflow and records maintenance, thus saving a lot of time. As you codify the processes with LIMS, the software instructs as to which instrument is to be used next, which technician is supposed to handle the process in the following phase, and so on. Hence, manual intervention to instruct or direct record movement and tracking is largely cut. In other words, LIMS manages and assigns works to the lab technician and makes the process hassle-free on the whole.


8. Quicker Workflow

LIMS allows impeccable access to Doctors and Patients with their respective login portals. It has preset templates to generate and send across an invoice for patients and labs. Further, it is also easy to make a comparative analysis with the convenience of setting against previous reports and patient history, thus making enabling quicker workflow on the whole.


9. Productive

LIMS increases throughput and thus acts very productively. Automatically, the lab test results are shared across users. And patient history can be quickly referred to. The reports are synchronized with the physician EMR for quick access. In cases of abnormalities, automatic updates and alerts are raised without the need for manual intervention. The software also enables digital signing and cuts down on the wait time for approving a physical document.


10. Quality Control

Through the course of testing, the machine-driven analysis remains subject to change and may demand calibrations. With the help of effective Quality Control measures, identifying variations becomes very easy. Simply put, Quality Control helps in ensuring the accuracy and precision of data. Furthermore, QC results are stored as database and can be set against actual results, thus enabling complete control over deviations or errors, if any. With NABL and other lab accreditations, the quality of results and the workflow are guaranteed.


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