What is a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS)?
A LIMS should be designed to form a natural support to your scientific skills.
Less admin, more science
A LIMS is a software platform enabling users to effectively manage the flow of samples and associate data to support laboratory operations and enhance efficiency. Through the use of a LIMS, laboratories can automate workflows, tests and procedures, integrate instruments, provide a complete record of all samples, tests and results in the system via secure and comprehensive audit trails. LIMS helps labs streamline operations by making the move from paper to a digital environment, with the goal of saving time, money and reducing errors.
- Management – LIMS provides centralized storage of all laboratory workflow and the subsidiary data required for quality control compliance
- Automation – Enables complete workflow automation reducing the possibility of human error and speeding up
- Accuracy – Assists in producing accurate, reproducible results and ensuring the use of calibrated instruments
- Integration – Integrates with laboratory instruments or other in-lab systems providing completely digital environment
- Traceability – One of the major benefits is the availability of a secure and reportable audit trail that is able to track all data within the system and any changes made to result, test procedure, instruments etc. are logged.
- Regulatory Compliance – Assist labs with meeting strict regulatory requirements by tracking and reporting on the relevant data:
- ISO17025 – ISO1518
- CFR 21 Part 11
- NATA (or compliance body in each country)
- System validation
Besides for the above core functions, LIMS should also assist with other area’s of your quality management framework:
- Repository Management – Know exactly where at your lab/facility samples are stored
- Chain of Custody Management – Keep track of your samples even when they have left your lab
- Corrective and Preventative Actions (CAPA) – tracking non conformance
- Version Control – methods and SoP’s
- Asset Management – instruments and laboratory equipment
- Business Analytics – Keep track of KPI’S, turnovers
Some reasons why people look at LIMS?
- Growing demand for transparency in testing
- Auditable results and removal of human error
- Pressure to meet testing demands with fewer resources
- Identify workload issues or bottlenecks
- Increased demand on automated reporting and testing
- Pressure to comply with new or increasingly tight industry regulations
- Replacement and/or consolidation of legacy systems