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:
Clinical Chemistry Analyzers
Immunoassay Systems etc.
Benefits of using LIMS in your lab are:
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:
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:
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.
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.
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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Investment in health is the best way of investment to lead a full and healthy life. People have started to invest in health and undergo health check-up regularly. People have started to realize that prevention is better than cure, and what better way to prevent than getting regularly tested and check on the well-being.
As the number of labs outgrows every day, utilization of machines to collect samples is also increasing. When labs get more samples to process from various sources, machine interfacing is helping labs in making their work easier and faster. In this blog, let’s discuss some of the best and modern ways by which labs can collect patient samples, avoiding all the hassle. The 4 efficient ways for lab sample collection are:
Walk-in sample Collection
Collection of the sample at Home
Business to business Sample collection
Franchise based sample collection
Walk-in Sample Collection:
This method of sample collection is the most personal easily accessible way to collect samples from patients. In this era of online-based life, it is a step towards betterment that laboratory tests are also made available with ease of access.
Patients can directly walk-in to the laboratories and give the samples. Labs will process the sample in the laboratory and give reports. In case, the samples need to be processed by main processing centers, the samples will be sent to the main processing centers and then collected back by the laboratories after the processing is over. Patients will be able to collect their detailed report from the laboratories they visited.
Sample Collection at Home:
For many patients, deviation in health is a sensitive issue. Sometimes trustworthy lab institutes might be far away from the patient’s home. This leads to long hours of travel and long hours of waiting for the test to be taken by patients. The whole process might be a bit demotivating for the patients and the increase in their stress.
In this case, labs will visit the patient home and collect samples for testing. Healthcare industry is reaching new heights by making it possible for patients to remain in their safe confinement and get their health tested at their comfortable time without physically leaving their home.
After collecting the samples it will be processed in the labs or sent to the main processing center and a detailed report will be obtained and sent to the patients.
Home Sample Collection is beneficial for:
Patients who are bedridden
Chronically ill patients
Business to Business Sample collection lab:
There are more competitors in the field of healthcare than in any other field. Their competition is that they perform better in serving for the health of other people. This service needs to be done in an effective and time-saving manner which would put the patient at ease with the laboratory.
Business to business helping for sample collection can help you gain more recipients and number of doctors recommending your clinic. Two or more businesses who are specialized in various fields of laboratory testing can partner up together and jointly help each other in each field. Big labs can partner with small labs and collect samples.
This way the businesses can direct patients who need specific tests in a diagnostic not available in their own lab but available in the partner's lab. Business to business sample collection can help them mutually gain a lot of patients and thereby trust in the system.
Franchise based Sample Collection Lab:
Establishing a fully equipped diagnostic center in a city is viewed more than a business opportunity and as a service to the better health of mankind. Such diagnostic labs should be working in their 100 percent capacity with state of the art equipment that delivers quality results.
Attaining such a high level of quality for sample collection lab is difficult if you start out fresh. It would be best to join an already established company and start a new franchise that can help in diagnostic sample collection.
Having a franchise with a top company in sample collection and diagnostics will help you better in getting more patients to the lab and better management of the center.
With the already established name and fame of the company, the job for you would be easy.
To know more visit Mocdoc - LIMS
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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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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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
Running a productive lab smoothly is tedious. Whet..... Read more