What is LIMS?
LIMS stands for Laboratory Information Management System. It is a software developed to enhance the efficiency and productivity of labs, by managing the flow of samples and associated data, by standardizing workflows, procedures and tests, and by integrating with instruments to automate test data collection.
LIMS ensures that human error is minimized, accurate controls are provided to all processes, and all instruments are properly calibrated and only used by trained staff.
LIMS helps labs meet regulatory requirements such as GMP, FDA 21CFR Part11, and GLP by ensuring the fundamentals of the regulations are strictly followed, thereby making the lab anytime audit-ready.
Core LIMS Functions
Sample management enables accurate record keeping of each sample, from the moment it is received in the lab, throughout its lifecycle. Information, such as expiration date, storage, names of the researchers, source etc. is stored by LIMS.
Inventory Management ensures that supplies are ordered in advance according to requirements. This avoids delays arising from lack of stocks, and keeps the lab workflow moving smoothly.
LIMS streamlines the lab workflow. It automatically assigns tasks to researchers, outlines where to pass the sample, and suggests instruments and equipments.
Workflow management using a LIMS ensures time-savings and precise functionality.
Using instrument integration, LIMS can control specific instruments and direct their functioning. Data integration with instruments enables secure data management, reduces data processing and reporting time, and ensures secure data access from different instruments.
LIMS can automate recurring reporting tasks. Real-time reports enable lab workers to make more informed decision. Data management facilitates configuration and archiving, and enables labs to go paperless. Paper-usage reduction increases efficiency, reduces chances of error, and brings down costs.
Key Benefits of LIMS
A LIMS system plays a key role in enhancing the overall lab performance through the following actions
- Automates repetitive administrative tasks, thereby increasing lab efficiency
- Increases reliability by reducing the risk of errors
- Increases lab efficiency, thereby resulting in cost-cutting
- Enables faster, better, informed decisions from real-time reporting
- Allows access to the right information quickly at any stage of any process
- Ensures all work meets regulatory requirements and current best practice
- Enhances data integrity with automatic audit logging and revision control
- Helps labs produce accurate, repeatable results
- Enables workflow automation which reduces human error
- Tracks quantities of lab reagents
- Connects all the labs of an organization across the globe through a common platform
- Enables collaboration between global R&D teams