You’ve probably heard of a clinical laboratory information management system (LIMS), but what does it do? A LIMS, sometimes known as a LIS (laboratory information system) maintains and monitors samples and associated laboratory data, and help to streamline the overall lab procedures and activities.

In this post, we’ll discuss how a clinical laboratory LIMS can help your lab run more efficiently. We’ll also cover the key features of LIMS and how they can benefit organizations, such as Sapio (https://www.sapiosciences.com/clinical-lab-management).

How a clinical laboratory LIMS can help your lab ran more efficiently?

Laboratory information management systems (LIMS) is an integral tool in the clinical lab since paper-based management has become absolute and inefficient. The shift is necessitated by the increase in data generated in the process and the need to share this information with the clinical and health professional specialists. Sharing laboratory data with remote collaborators requires strict compliance with the clinical standards. With the increasing adoption of LIMS software in the clinical industry, the goal is to attain high level of efficiency in the operations.

LIMS provides laboratory technicians and researchers with flexibility and reliability needed to perform complex analysis such as qPCR, microarray, pathology, and NGS. Besides, implementing LIMS software enhances a greater efficiency in molecular diagnosis and clinical testing through improving productivity, quality, and speed of lab tests. With the increasing amount of generated data, LIMS focuses on enhancing speed by increasing throughput that will ensure the data is shared with remote collaborators, deliver the results and generate the report in time.

Key Features of LIMS

LIMS software has the following features:

Audit management

The audit trail is a common feature in LIMS and it is one of the requirements for regulated laboratories. This feature helps the lab technician to follow the audit path from the beginning to the end by clearly indicating the collaborators and the exact time when specific actions take place.

Handling of the Bar code

LIMS can be used to replace handwritten labels with barcodes; this helps to reduce the risk of illegible information on the label and minimizes the risks that may emanate from human mistakes. Besides, barcodes offer many advantages to the laboratory technicians that handle the samples. For instance, it provides the lab technician with an accurate data input instrument and sample and more space for information on the label.

It provides the chain of custody

The chain of custody differs depending on the laboratory. In highly regulated laboratories, tracking the chain of custody is an important part of the operation. It is integral in the forensic labs and evidence collection, retention, and setting procedures for disposal.

Compliance

LIMS is used in various laboratories in different industries to manage data analysis based on samples, tests, and the associated results. It ensures compliance with the set guidelines and standards. Compliance is critical since failure to comply with such regulations is likely to cause huge losses.

Customers relations management

LIMS handles and stores a wide range of information about the client and facilitates and streamlines communication with customers.

Document management:

Since various data types are collected and stored in the laboratory, this data is associated with specifications, safety, reports, regulatory files, and protocols. LIMS has a document management system that uploads and indexes documents based on file size and allows text search.

Workflows: LIMS can streamline laboratory workflow since it automatically assigns tasks to researchers and states the next location to facilitate simple workflow.

  • Time tracking: LIMS tracks the amount of time that the employees spend doing a specific task.
  • LIMS helps lab technicians to create and schedule the reports.
  • Quality control and assurance.
  • Training management.
  • Inventory and equipment management.

Benefit to Your Organization

Facilitates cohesive management of clinical data

In recent years, there has been an increasing demand to perform genetic testing. Utilizing a single system such as the LIMS system provides a single system to manage items such as the study protocols, traceability, analytical results that promotes efficiency laboratory process and offers visibility into the process. LIMS helps keep the biospecimens safe and secure since they are registered in the system upon reception and the date is kept securely. All the relevant metadata such as storage location, informed consent status, shipment information, laboratory analysis and results are maintained in the system. The patient records are kept separate from the scientific data throughout this process that ensures compliance with patient privacy laws such as HIPAA.

Protects data integrity

One of the major concerns in clinical laboratories is how to keep data private and confidential. The FDA and the HIPAA work to safeguard the patient’s medical information by ensuring their data is secure. This demands that the LIMS be carefully designed to provide users with access to the specific information they need. LIMS deployment should facilitate traceability of the biospecimen and its data throughout the clinical process. LIMS provides end-to-end encryption of data and information, such as the analysis results. This information can then be submitted to the patient management system for diagnosis and subsequent treatment; this helps the physician to offer treatment to the patient more quickly.