April 27, 2018
The basic function of a LIMS is to track samples and store sample workflow related information from the time it enters a laboratory until it is disposed. In this blog, we highlight some important factors to be considered while evaluating a LIMS solution for your laboratory. Finding a LIMS with desired features requires several factors to be considered, right from the deployment process, services offered, customization costs, and support and training packages offered by the vendor.
Here are some important factors that must be considered while selecting a LIMS:
When choosing a LIMS platform, technology plays a significant role. A LIMS built on a technology platform that serves as an enabler and helps in the implementation process is much more conducive to your laboratory environment than a LIMS built on archaic platform. A solution that enables to scale, is flexible and leaves a small IT footprint is a robust solution to your operational needs.
It is important that the data is accessed by authorized users, at the appropriate authorization level. Provision should be made that even if there is a breach, the data still cannot be extracted since it is encrypted at rest as well. If the solution is a web based LIMS, should be hosted on AICPA developed, SOC compliant world class infrastructure along with multi-layered application level security. Additionally, ensure that regular database backups are taken and stored in a geographically distant data center for seamless data recovery in case of man-made or natural disasters.
Some of the regulatory bodies and guidelines laboratories need to follow are – ISO 17025:2017, ISO 9001:2015, HIPAA, GMP AND GAMP, EPA, FDA, USDA, GFSI, FSMA, CLIA. Please check if the LIMS you choose helps you follow and therefore comply with the guidelines applicable to your laboratory.
You may need to consider the license cost, third party tools that may need to installed, customization charges, installation fee, hosting charges, technical support provided, cost of upgrades and the services the LIMS vendor offers.
Configurability enables a LIMS to be modified to mirror laboratory workflows by altering screen designs, menu designs, terminology, report design etc. without the need for a software customization project than needs engineers to write code and modify the product. Configuration enables a LIMS to adopt to the changing operations and business requirements of a laboratory and can be done by laboratory personnel themselves instead of hiring a vendor to do so for them. A LIMS that offers configuration tools should be preferred since it saves on costly customization that require a large budgetary allocation.
Reporting is an indispensable part of a LIMS because it enables users to get a clear picture of collected data and potential trends. The selected LIMS software should provide custom reporting templates based on your requirements and facilitate professional custom report generation by enabling you to add signatures, company logo, user notes, and images with a caption.
Do cross check all rating and reviews before buying a LIMS.