A Laboratory Information Management System is laboratory-specific software. The aim is to standardise working procedures, improve transparency, track samples & inventory and accurately report experimental data & report in the laboratory. If carefully chosen and implemented, the LIMS can greatly improve productivity.
Modern laboratories now generate a large quantity and a wide variety of data with advancement in technology. A primary contributor to data generation is the advent of high – throughput technologies such as micro array, next-generation sequencing, etc. which have both increased the quality and quantity of laboratory-generated information. In addition to this, there is an increase in data flowing across organisations with the increase in R&D partnerships. Together they are contributing to significant challenges in data management for both small and large labs. A Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) is one of the most common methods of overcoming those challenges.
Due to a number of options available in the LIMS market, selecting a LIMS that best suits your requirements has become more difficult than ever. So how do you decide which LIMS is the right one for your laboratory?
Implementation of a new LIMS system for your laboratory is a huge project, but sometimes necessary. You might have found that your current LIMS system doesn’t have all the features you’d like to have or maybe your lab needs have changed.
In any implementation planning is always the top criterion. Similarly, careful planning is the first step of implementation of LIMS and should therefore be carried out in the earliest stages of the implementation process of LIMS.
Identifying and gathering laboratory requirements is the first step to identifying the right LIMS system for your laboratory. Carry out a gap analysis to review your current laboratory practises, what laboratory practises work and where process gaps occur. If you already have a LIMS system, ensure that systems, applications, and instruments are identified to verify that they are properly integrated with your laboratory. You can also partner with a LIMS consultant to ensure all the laboratory requirements are identified. Consultants are a great resource that could be overlooked for gathering additional information and important details.
It is essential that laboratories have a project plan before proceeding with any LIMS evaluation and subsequent implementation. The project plan should accommodate the time required for activities related to the definition of requirements, the key performance measures and the evaluation and selection of vendors.
Another important aspect is the preparation for unforeseen events and situations. Often companies investing in comprehensive, upfront planning experience shorter implementation times and spend less money on the project than their peers.
If you’ve decided to start searching for a new LIMS system, read our LIMS review for more information on selecting and implementing the best LIMS system for your laboratory.