5 Signs You Need a LIMS

Need a LIMS?

December 10, 2019

Do you know what is trending in laboratories of the 21st Century? The latest buzz is the implementation of a Laboratory Information Management System or LIMS. Now you might want to ask, what exactly is a LIMS and why it is the hottest cake in the market. Let us debug this by answering the most obvious question - what is a LIMS?

A Laboratory Information Management System or LIMS is a software application that automates the proceedings of a laboratory, right from the intake of a sample, through its entire life cycle in the laboratory. In plain words, LIMS is an upgrade from spreadsheets, which cannot safeguard against human errors. Automation not only reduces errors but also increases the speed and efficiency of laboratory operations. Some of the key benefits of LIMS include:

  1. Saving time spent in maintaining records.
  2. Easy data traceability and accessibility.
  3. Elimination of human errors and improved efficiency.

In short, implementing a LIMS saves time, money, and effort. Your laboratory personnel is not drowning in entering data manually and maintaining them correctly, thus enabling them to focus more on their research. That roughly translates into more business and profit capital for the laboratories.

Is it time to Implement a LIMS?

Now that we understand what a LIMS is and what benefits it offers, the next question that arises is when to start using one. Before we address the elephant in the room, here are a few questions for your consideration:

Are you meeting the turnaround time for your processes? In other words are your laboratory personnel able to meet all the steps listed in your SOP’s without deviations and delays in process execution and validation?

  1. Is your laboratory personnel spending too much time managing daily transactions and maintaining documentation of transactional processes?
  2. Is your business facing losses due to erroneous test reports?
  3. Is data-retrievability a major issue for your day to day laboratory operations?
  4. Are you able to maintain data integrity, meet customer expectations and deadlines and take major decisions simultaneously?

Any laboratory investing in a LIMS needs to ask these questions to themselves. Each of these questions roughly translates into a telltale sign that it is high time for your laboratory to implement a LIMS. Let’s take a closer look at these answers:

  1. If the answer to this question is no, you need to consider investing in a LIMS. Maintaining turnaround time is one of the basic requirements for the smooth running of a laboratory. Your personnel should be able to refer and follow set SOPs without deviations and difficulties.
  2. If you are thinking no to this question as well, here is your sign number 2. Daily transactions and documentations, while highly important activities, should not make up for the bulk of your personnel’s responsibilities or job roles.
  3. A yes here means you are close to tough times. Erroneous test reports translate to lost business opportunities. Errors in reports often rise from manual data entry and human intervention. A LIMS automates this, thus eliminating error percentage.
  4. Pulling up data easily saves time. Time is money and thus, needs to be saved. A LIMS stores all data in one place, making retrieval easy.
  5. Fast decision making is critical for improved business transactions. Another requirement is meeting customer expectations by providing service at par with the industry standards.

Conclusion

The questions discussed above and the answers that followed each point in a direction that says what an ideal laboratory operation looks like and what could be done to achieve it. There are multiple parameters to consider while implementing a LIMS. If the questions discussed above apply to your facility, it may be time you start looking into a LIMS to automate your laboratory workflow and choose a vendor that best fits your requirements.


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