A LIMS is a software system that manages all laboratory processes, such as sample tracking, results reporting, and data analysis. It provides the lab with a centralized place to store all of its information, making it easier to access at any time.
In this post, we'll discuss how LIMS can help your lab run more efficiently. We'll also cover the key features of LIMS and how they can benefit your organization.
There are many providers of cloud based LIMS out there, such as Sapio Science (https://www.sapiosciences.com/saas-lims-software) which can make it difficult to know which is right for you. So, if you're wondering how to choose a LIMS for your lab, read on.
6 Ways LIMS Benefits Your Organization
- Improved Data Accessibility
A LIMS enables you and your team to access and share data anytime, anywhere. You can log in from your office or while on-site at a client's site. Your lab members can also compile results quickly without stepping foot into the physical laboratory.
- Streamlined Collaboration between All Lab Team Members
With a cloud-based LIMS, you can share information with other users in real-time. Collaboration is improved by allowing all team members to track samples from receipt through results reporting. You can even configure your system to let lab members add their notes, comments, and data. Everyone will work together more effectively, knowing the most recent information is always accessible.
- Data is Secure and HIPAA-Compliant
All data stored in a cloud-based LIMS adheres to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance standards. The system uses secure protocols throughout the entire data collection, storage, and administration process. This ensures that all lab data is safe and that you won't violate confidentiality laws.
- Reduced Maintenance Costs
System maintenance and updates can be completed by the online LIMS provider. This reduces your time and effort spent managing the system, leaving more time for your core focus – running your lab. You can also receive new features added to the system, ensuring your workflow is always efficient.
- Improved Knowledge Management for Lab Personnel
Cloud-based LIMS includes collaborative search capabilities that make it easier for lab personnel to find information in seconds. They can filter results by date or type of specimen. And when new data is entered, an alert will notify users of the new information. Your team members can save searches and change their privacy settings, so they'll only receive notifications about the data they're interested in.
- Easy Data Analysis
Cloud-based LIMS includes reporting tools that allow lab personnel to extract desired information from all records in the system quickly. The system can even be set up to automatically generate reports based on user-defined parameters or triggers determined by data in the LIMS.
How to Choose a LIMS for Your Lab
Consider Your Operational Needs
Different businesses have different needs. A comprehensive cloud-based LIMS that is right for one lab may not be the best fit for another. For example, a LIMS that offers advanced reporting capabilities may meet the needs of a large pharmaceutical company but not your small chemistry startup. If you need to track sensitive personal data, such as patient records, you'll need a system that meets strict compliance requirements. All data should be encrypted and protected throughout the entire collection process.
Know What Type of Data You Need to Store
What types of chemistry-related data does your lab generate? A LIMS typically includes three major modules: sample tracking, instrument management, and report storage. You should consider what types of chemistry-related data you need to collect, generate, and track before choosing the right solution for your business.
Take Security into Consideration
It's essential that a cloud-based LIMS provides the necessary levels of security and ensures your data remains protected at all times. Make sure the LIMS offers secure protocols and uses SSL encryption to protect information as it's transmitted between computers and servers. You should also be able to determine which users have access to certain types of data and whether or not they can modify entries after they're entered.
You should also be able to determine who can access data at each stage of the workflow.
Lab Safety is Paramount
Lab safety can't be stressed enough, so you need a solution that provides an adequate level of lab security. All samples should have unique ID numbers which act as digital signatures, preventing them from being modified. Destructive sampling should also be an option, allowing you to dispose of samples after testing is complete.
A cloud-based LIMS can help you ensure your lab's safety by accurately tracking the location of your samples at all times. You'll know where samples are in transit and when they arrive back at the lab.
Consider How You'll Integrate with Other Systems
Does your current LIMS or LIS work well with other systems in your lab? If not, you need to find a system that offers seamless integration. The last thing you want is your workflows and data entry techniques to change because a new system requires a different process. A cloud-based LIMS should be easy to integrate with all types of technology, including lab management systems, dispatch software, and electronic lab notebooks (ELNs).
Final Thoughts for Understanding the Benefits of Cloud-Based LIMS
The decision to go cloud-based can be a big one. After all, you'll have to trust your valuable data to a new system and hope that your choice is the right one. But with so many benefits, cloud-based LIMS systems are a step ahead of their on-premise counterparts. They offer scalability, easy user access, continuous support and an intuitive interface. It's a perfect way to keep your business running.