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An Introduction to LIMS


Laboratory Information Management system (LIMS) is a software that is used in labs for data management and to process a large number of lab samples to manage laboratory workflow. With LIMS, the lab can automate workflows, integrate instruments, and manage samples and associated information. Additionally, labs can produce valid results quickly and can track data across experiments to improve efficiency.


LIMS that are commonly used in clinical labs fall under the below categories:



Benefits of using LIMS in your lab are:

  • Workflow automation

  • Integrate instruments or other in-lab systems

  • Centralize access and storage of data

  • Track data from sequencing runs

  • Initiate downstream data analysis.


The Efficiency of LIMS:


The main purpose of using a LIMS in a lab is to improve the efficiency of sample processing and management. Using LIMS would cut down on the need for manual tasks thereby increasing the accuracy in sample analysis. LIMS captures data automatically, gets processed, and is stored for future reference. The LIMs vendor you choose will define the proceeding process of the software.


Generally, the process of a LIMS is divided into five stages:

  • The sample is logged in after reception.

  • Assignment, scheduling, and tracking of the sample and the analytical workload

  • Processing and quality control associated with the sample

  • Storage of data associated with the sample analysis

  • Inspection, approval, and compilation of the sample data for report generation and further analysis.


Types of LIS Modules Used In Clinical Laboratory:


The features of Laboratory Information system (LIS) have seen an evolutionary growth over the years from sample tracking to enterprise resource planning for clinical and specialty laboratories.


A typical workflow pattern of a LIS in a clinical lab flows through three phases:

  • Pre-analytical: Specimen collection.

  • Analytical: testing of the specimens.

  • Post-analytical: Result review.


The LIS modules are used by various laboratory departments like:

  • Blood Bank

  • Immunology

  • Hematology

  • Microbiology

  • Clinical chemistry

  • Histopathology


Various Common Functionalities Used In LIMS:


With the progress in technology, the functions of a LIMS progresses too. LIMS software is built in a way to support any upcoming progress while effectively working on a basic set of definite functionalities like the collection of data, tracking of sample, processing, data storage, and report generation.


Some of the core functionalities of LIMS are explained as below:


Sample Management:

LIMS was originally created to help in the process of sample management systems occurring in laboratories. This system gets initiated when a sample is received in a laboratory and gets registered in a LIMS. Since a large number of samples are collected and analyzed in a day, it would be difficult to record the samples without the chance of being confused with other analysis. With LIMS, It would be easier to track the sample if it is labeled and assigned correctly by using RFID on the samples or barcodes.


The information collected and stored via a LIMS would fall under the following criteria:

1) Details about the person whose sample is taken

2) Details of the doctor/clinic who recommended for an analysis

3) The tests/analysis needed to be taken on the sample

4) Stages of the sample and destination

5) Storing procedures

6) Expected report generation date

7) Record creation for future purposes.


Workflow Management:

The need for workflow management using a LIMS is as important as Sample management and record-holding. The accuracy of a working system does not just depend on the data; it needs an on-point process assessment where a LIMS system can be used. As the name indicates, workflow management helps automate workflows and assign work if delegated precisely in the software.


All you would have to do for better workflow management using LIMS is:

  • Enter proper codes to direct the LIMS system for a work assignment

  • Configure the process flow of the work for sample analysis

  • Assign exact instruments for the particular work.


Workflow management using a LIMS saves time and conducts the job with precision.


EMR/EHR:

Electronic Medical Record (EMR)/ Electronic Health Record (EHR) is software that collects and stores information on the patient’s medical history in the form of records that can be shared via different health care mediums. Many LIMS have this EMR/EHR functionality built-in in their system. Using a LIMS with EHR function will be a huge asset to your lab as the real-time data exchange can be made possible easily.


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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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Introduction:

Orbito Asia Labs and scans is a comprehensive healthcare facility for imaging and diagnostic purposes. It contains the latest infrastructure with best medical facilities operated by experienced and certified lab technicians with support staffs. They strive to provide ultimate diagnostic services to their patients at an affordable price. They operate in about 20 locations and also have many processing centers across Tamilnadu and Bangalore.

Overview:

The main reason why Orbito Asia approached MocDoc was to manage multiple collection centers in different areas, also to keep track of samples and information about the patients, since they were using an offline software these operations were not possible. MocDoc LIMS provided them with the best solutions for their problems and proved as a handy software for managing multiple lab centers.

Challenges & Solutions:

MocDoc has always produced masterly solutions to many problems arising in the healthcare industry. Here is a list of problems Orbito Asia faced and its solutions,

Adapting to technology

Orbito Asia was handling their entire management process with offline software. As the magnitude of their labs kept increasing they opted to go for online software to increase their scalability and for better automation. Ultimately a firm that prides itself in having the latest technology didn’t want an offline software to hinder its progress.

MocDoc provided them a fully integrated software known as MocDoc LIMS which allowed them to work online also rectify all the problems that they were facing while using offline software.MocDoc LIMS also increased data security of the patients by following a centralized data storage method(SaaS).

Managing multiple centres

Orbito Asia is having multiple centers across Tamilnadu so they needed a proper software to organize their centers and tracking samples. They also needed solutions for organizing their tie-ups with other labs for B2B modules. So they eventually needed online software to perform multi-center organizing and sample tracking efficiently. 

MocDoc resolved all their problems by providing them with a fully integrated software which helped them to carry out their expansions in multiple locations, and also delivered propitious results in sample tracking and managing B2B’s to which Orbito Asia have collaborated with.

Avoiding duplicate registrations

Orbito Asia was following a manual entry of information regarding patient details, sample information, center details in their previous offline software this created a situation of having duplicate entries. Also, offline software didn’t have the features to stay connected with multiple locations.

MocDoc approached them with deft solutions on rectifying all their problems which they previously faced. Our software supported Orbito Asia to collect all information about patients and Centers in a secure and organized manner, after which Orbito Asia has shown rapidly reduced errors in data collection and in duplicate entries.

Tracking samples and result collaberation

Results for tests in Orbito Asia labs were often delayed due to lack of features in their offline software for sample tracking, also they were facing some difficulties to track the revenue of their centers, outsourcing details, and their payment methods this lead to a major problem in maintaining track records about company expenditures.

MocDoc provided them with a Home Collection application which precisely helped them to correct the problems in sample tracking also this helped them to reduce the turnaround time for collecting test results. For managing B2B relations MocDoc software allows them to easily track their invoices and pending payments since MocDoc is an online SaaS software we provide all results instantly without any delay.

Sending real time updates using multimedia

Orbito Asia labs had to send regular updates to all the partner labs, marketing executives and the patients that visit their lab. Due to the lack of bulk messaging facility, these updates were given in the form of individual messages and emails causing heavy workload and at times erroneous conveyance of messages.

With the help of MocDoc LIMS OrbitoAsia was able to send real-time updates of test results to the patient and also information was conveyed easily to marketing executives without any delay. The additional feature of using our software was it allows labs to also send bulk messages to their patients this reduced the workload drastically.

Ultimate benefits

  • OrbitoAsia were able to efficiently maintain multiple Centers.

  • Managing and tracking samples were much easier in MocDoc LIMS.

  • Consistent Real-time accurate results is an added advantage.

  • OrbitoAsia were able to send bulk messages and e-mails also they were able to maintain Data privacy.

  • Reduced workload and improved efficiency in providing propitious results.

Growth outcome 

Orbito Asia has gained more than 70% of customer satisfaction this year. MocDoc LIMS simplified their entire process through their integrated scalable solutions. OrbitoAsia evaluated 100’s of software and in that, they selected MocDoc software mainly for these three reasons,

  • Ease of use

  • Best Support services

  • Budget-Friendly Software


    To Know More Visit MocDoc LIMS

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The healthcare industry, like any other industry, is not self-reliant. Since this is an ever-evolving industry there's no stopping for the challenges that arise or the solutions for it. One such healthcare solution is the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS). The Laboratory management system has been providing healthcare solutions for the industry, over the past couple of decades: but what it really is?

LIMS And What Does It Do?

The Laboratory management system started as a system to keep a record of test samples, their results and all other particulars of donor and patients sample.  From the point of its inception, the laboratory management system followed the traditional methods of manual labeling and record-keeping; it was followed only until the introduction of computers to healthcare solutions.

Ever since the Laboratory Information Management System is in a course of upward trajectory.

As the computers evolved so did software. Dedicated LIMS software packages began appearing with tweaks and new features every time. The LIMS software today is so reliable that once a test sample is collected in lab or patients house, it is taken to a pathology laboratory and given a tag, it is almost impossible to lose track of it. The LIMS software packages can manage and update the progress in tests and can also update the result of the tests to the database in real-time.

To put in simple words:

A laboratory Information management system, shortly known as LIMS, is a software that is used to help lab faculties in collecting samples, processing and delivering reports to patients. It acts as an interface between the lab faculties and the database where all the information and essential details are stored. This includes all the tests conducted under a particular facility.

LIMS Network

In its early days, the laboratory management system was an isolated off the network system. But as technology paved the way for more advanced secure networking, the Laboratory Information Management System stepped into the next-gen of healthcare solutions.

Standalone LIMS:

Even though the laboratory management systems provide easy accessibility of the information from the database, it isn't enough. Its information resource was limited to that one particular facility alone. The limitations of a standalone laboratory management system include

  • Limitation in the storage capacity of the database servers

  • The maintenance of servers at the healthcare facility itself involves difficulties

  • Medical procedures that involve referral to different locations will require carrying of physical records; which is an inconvenience again.

  • Though the chances are less: if the servers go down it is almost impossible to recover the data unless there is a backup, which will require additional servers.

  • Since standalone laboratory management systems are not cloud-based, sharing patient reports via App, SMS or Emails is restricted.

Since there are technologies developed already to overcome these limitations, they should be employed immediately.

LIMS on the Cloud:

The cloud storage is a powerful technology than it sounds. The cloud storage has virtually no limits on the storage capacity, thereby immensely supporting the laboratory information management system and other healthcare solutions.

  • The data centers provide a larger bandwidth to access the servers. That is more than enough to provide traffic less access.

  • Since the cloud servers have multiple redundant systems, there is always a backup and data loss is not a thing to worry about.

  • The centralized data center for the laboratory management system makes it possible to access data from anywhere in the world with authorization.

  • The maintenance of these servers is extremely cost-effective compared to the standalone LIMS.

  • As LIMS is cloud-based, it can connect multiple stakeholders. You can also have control over sample tracking, processing and delivering. And there is easy scalability in business.

Patient Accessibility:

The inter-connection of LIMS software servers also introduces the patients to the inside of the Laboratory Information Management System. Since the LIMS software made the information easily accessible, the patients can easily keep track of their records. This also helps patients to keep their personal health records up to date with no effort.  

LIMS Beyond Limits:

The LIMS software, even though started as a record-keeping and managing healthcare solution, it has now evolved into a state of complete management solution. It has given a massive boost to the administration of the healthcare facility and also the financial management of the healthcare centers.

Machine Interfacing in LIMS :

The LIMS software acts as an interface between the laboratory equipment and other devices. The Laboratory Information management System is capable of interfacing with the database in real-time to import and export data. It also acts as an interface between multiple devices within the lab for better coordination.

For instance, an MRI scanner is only a scanning machine with an image display unit and a control unit. But, with the LIMS software machine interface, the data from the scanner can be stored directly in the database to the respective patient name. It helps the doctors to analyze the data whenever required.

Time Management:

Time management is one of the most challenging objectives of management. The LIMS software used in today's healthcare facilities provides day to day management solutions besides healthcare solutions.  

  • The LIMS software can make schedules for doctors and specialists. It also helps in scheduling for follow-ups and cancellation of appointments at the request of patients through IVRs and websites.

  • Since there is always a demand for the time slots to access the laboratory equipment and devices, including the high-cost scanners which are a rare resource, LIMS software can schedule their time slots in the most effective way.


In addition to these, the Laboratory Information Management System also has the in-house pharmacy records maintained, notifies the maintenance of laboratory equipment and other services.

The AI of LIMS and it's future:

The future of the Laboratory Information Management System has already shown us a glimpse of what it is capable of over the years.

The AI is definitely the future of every field and the Laboratory Information Management System is no exception. The introduction of LIMS software to artificial intelligence can automate pretty much everything in the laboratory management system and improve the qualities of healthcare solutions. Smart labs will be the newest addition to the list of healthcare solutions by the LIMS software.

The advancements in various supporting fields such as microfluidics, biometrics, lab-on-a-chip technologies, and their automation have ensured the steady progress of the Laboratory Information Management system. The day is not far when the AI Laboratory Information management System (AI LIMS) will be working along with humans and serve humanity.

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Aruna Clinical Laboratory

Aruna Lab was founded in the year 1994 by Late Ms. Aruna Rani, a revered medical lab technician. The microbiological laboratory was set up in Pondicherry with the sole aim of providing high-quality, reliable lab services to patients at reasonable prices.

Discovery

As the glitches in manual handling lead to an array of problems in their processes, Mr. Azhagu, chairman of Aruna Lab, started looking into a complete solution for their business. He was fortunate to discover MocDoc, a software that he strongly believed would precisely fit their requirements.

Business Challenges

Aruna Lab encompasses 7 laboratories and 1 collection center. Their work process involves the collection of bills from multiple centers, manually creating batch sheets and processing them individually. The offline software used by Aruna Laboratory was not flexible and did not have the capability to handle the labs at multiple locations. Such manual handling added up to their overheads in terms of transportation cost, and also increased the risk of billing errors. The manual processes led to an imperfect machine interfacing, which in turn led to delayed and erroneous results which brought down the credibility of the lab

Implementation

Aruna Lab receives approximately 250 patients every day, and the entire process of billing was manually carried out at a remote destination. This was a challenging and time-consuming task. It was also not easy to handle multiple locations with the previous software.

As Aruna Labs started using the MocDoc laboratory information management system, handling multiple locations became a cakewalk. The billing process was made online and became fully automated.

Aruna Labs started segregating and billing their patients according to their geographic locations

And with the new automated process, Aruna labs bid goodbye to their machine interfacing issues. Aruna Lab started experiencing the real ease of MocDoc software with its automatic process taking over once the patient sample is given.


MocDoc is a user-friendly, intuitive online software for healthcare service providers such as hospitals, clinics, labs, and pharmacies. It is cross-platform compatible and is made available both for Android and iOS devices. Be it a single or multi-chain laboratory, MocDoc is a perfect fit for them in serving them with its many features. Upon implementing MocDoc software, Aruna Lab reaped a whole bunch of benefits of including:

  • Automated machine interfacing

  • Integrated billing

  • Improved rate plan

  • Increase in patient count & revenue

  • Reduced errors in billing

  • Reduction in overall transportation cost

  • High security with no 3rd party access


Results

MocDoc helped Aruna Lab in cutting down their operation hours significantly. It has promoted better transparency of work processes by eliminating third-party access to the account unless the owner’s permission is granted. The overall productivity and rate plan saw substantial improvement, and this resulted in an increased patient footfall. The overall efficiency of the network of Aruna Lab was improved by seamlessly connecting the labs at multiple locations using MocDoc LIMS. Aruna Lab was also able to enhance its credibility and branding.


For more information, visit MocDoc LIMS

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