What Is LIMS
LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) is a software based solution, providing an information management system for laboratories. It includes a set of key features which supports the operations of a modern laboratory.
Specifications of the LIMS Software
LIMS offers comprehensive reports for the organization and relevant structured information. It also incorporates with other applications as well, such as ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning). These services maximize the efficiency of a business.
The system offers flexible architecture, data tracking system, workflow and data exchange services. These services support use in regulated environments.
LIMS offers a number of benefits to laboratory management, including better data quality and increased productivity. Both of these factors reduce operating costs, which simultaneously save valuable human resources from daily tasks.
They easily adopt the procedures followed in the laboratory, such as single sample, batch samples and automated or manual methods. They generate reports for external or internal customer use. Resource Management is the key aspect that helps to plan allocation of work.
Literal Scope of the definition of LIMS
The literal definition of LIMS has become controversial over the years because the laboratories and their information management require rapid shifting. The needs of the modern laboratories are variably different and the requirements from a laboratory information management system also changes. Thus the definition of LIMS is totally dependent on its user.
LIMS usually targets research, environmental or commercial analysis, for example, petrochemical or pharmaceutical work. Recently, LIMS products have expanded far beyond their original rationale of sample management.
There are many features added to numerous LIMS products such as data analysis, data mining, assay data management and electronic laboratory notebook (ELN). These features facilitate the recognition of transitional medicine with a single software solution.
Sample Management in LIMS
The main function of LIMS is the management of samples received. The process starts just after a sample is received in the laboratory. First, the sample is registered with the LIMS. During the registration procedure, a bar code is attached to the sample. Many other parameters are also recorded such as, phenotypic or clinical information that match with the sample.
Instrument and application integration in LIMS
Today, the updated LIMS offers an unending amount of integration with laboratory applications and instruments. The LIMS also develops control files which are integrated into the instrument and lead its operation on different physical objects, such as the sample plate or sample tube.
The access to laboratory instruments might be synchronized based upon the sequence of custody assignments and other security features. Any new developments in the LIMS products will be their aptitude to import and supervise raw assay data results.
Electronic data exchange in LIMS
The exponentially increasing data volumes in laboratories are incorporated with increased business demands and greater focus on profitability. This has encouraged LIMS vendors to look after how their LIMS manages the electronic data exchanges.
Stress should be placed upon the management of input and output of the data, importing/exporting of remote sample collection and the integration of tablet technology and PDA’s with the LIMS. The transfer of files through Microsoft Excel and other formats, and the import/export of data to SQL, Oracle and Microsoft Access Databases is a crucial aspect of the modern LIMS.
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