Laboratory Management System

Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS)

A Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) is software that allows you to effectively manage samples and associated data to improve lab efficiency. LIMS are dynamic because the laboratory’s requirements are rapidly evolving and different labs often have different needs. Therefore, a working definition of a LIMS ultimately depends on the interpretation by the individuals or groups involved. LIMS has been the industry’s most technically advanced Laboratory Information Management System since its introduction to the market, and it continues to hold that position today. A key attribute of any technically advanced laboratory information management system is an avoidance of platform or brand dependencies. This affords you the benefit of choice and technology fit with respect to hardware, operating systems and databases. By using a LIMS, your lab can automate workflows, integrate instruments, and manage samples and associated information. Labs using LIMS boost their level of professionalism and their ability to meet customer demand in two ways:

LIMS helps labs produce accurate, reproducible results faster and more reliably. LIMS makes data from sequencing runs easier to store, track, and assess over time and across experiments so that labs can evaluate and improve operational efficiency

A Good Commercial LIMS Should:

  • Provide end-to-end information management of samples, tests, and results for next-generation genomics labs
  • Accommodate different users with role-based interfaces to optimize lab efficiency
  • Be easy for lab staff to configure and customize
  • Offer out-of-the-box reports as well as the ability to create custom reports
  • Enable a lab to get up and running quickly on its preferred instrumentation

A good commercial LIMS will help you present your lab in a professional manner to collaborators and granting bodies by enabling you to manage samples and workflows from end-to-end, ensuring the highest quality traceable results, and substantially improving overall lab efficiency and operations.

Functionality can roughly be divided into five laboratory processing phases, with numerous software functions falling under each:

  • the reception and log in of asample and its associated customer data
  • the assignment, scheduling, and tracking of the sample and the associated analytical workload
  • the processing and quality control associated with the sample and the utilized equipment and inventory
  • the storage of data associated with the sample analysis
  • the inspection, approval, and compilation of the sample data for reporting and further analysis

Some Of The Most Common Challenges Include:

  • Coping with the ongoing and significant rise in the throughput and volume of data associated with sequencing run

  • Finding scalable methods to organize and track samples and associated data
  • Maintaining connections between samples and associated data from the moment samples enter the lab to when data is reported
  • Reducing the amount of time spent processing and manually managing samples
  • Storing and retrieving data associated with projects, whether they were conducted yesterday or last year
  • Maintaining in-house solutions such as Microsoft Excel or homegrown systems that are easy to use and relevant to the instruments and protocols necessary to move research programs forward