Laboratory information management systems (LIMS) is a critical component of many scientific and medical laboratories. With LIMS, organizations are able to easily manage and store lab data within a single and centralized platform. However, the types of information that is and should be stored within any LIMS, is key. In this blog, we'll explore the types of information that can be stored in a LIMS and why each type is valuable to the laboratory.
- Sample Information: A LIMS can store information about each sample processed in the laboratory, including the sample ID, sample type, and sample status. This information is critical for tracking the progress of each sample, ensuring that samples are processed in a timely manner, and ensuring that samples are not lost or damaged. In addition to the sample ID, type, and status, including the specific date and time samples were received, sources of each sample, and any special handling instructions. Storing this information in LIMS allow researchers to easily track the location and status of each sample, and ensure they are processed in a timely and accurate manner.
- Test Results: it’s important to store the results of each test performed on a sample, including test parameters, test results, and any associated data. This information is essential for analyzing the results of laboratory tests and making informed decisions based on the data. To maximize both the short and long-term value of test data and lab information, many labs also include additional information, including dates and times that tests were performed, the name of the technician that performed the test, and any notes or comments related to the test. By storing this information in a LIMS, laboratory staff can easily track the progress of each test and ensure that all necessary data is captured for analysis and reporting.
- Instrument Data: The ability to store data generated by laboratory instruments, including data from analytical instruments, spectrometers, and microscopes, is key to ensuring data accuracy and reliability. It’s also important that labs store information about instrument maintenance and calibration records for each instrument. By storing this information in a LIMS, laboratory staff can easily track the performance of each instrument and ensure that they are operating within acceptable parameters. This is essential for ensuring the accuracy and reliability of laboratory results, the ability to analyze and report on performance, as well as tracking the performance of laboratory instruments.
- User Information: information about each user that uses and accesses information within a LIMS system is essential. Information about laboratory users can include user names, roles, permissions, and access levels. Many LIMS platforms also allow labs to store training records and proficiency test results for each user. Storing this information helps laboratory staff easily track the qualifications of each user and ensure that they are authorized to perform specific tasks. This information helps to ensure accuracy and reliability of laboratory results, accessibility to the LIMS platform, creating enhanced security that prevents any unauthorized users from accessing private data.
- Quality Control Data: quality control processes used in the laboratory, including information about quality control samples, quality control procedures, and quality control results, are critical information that should be easily accessible and up-to-date. That information, in addition to records of corrective actions taken in response to quality control failures, is critical in mitigating any risk or regulatory consequences. By storing this information in a LIMS, laboratory staff can easily track the effectiveness of their quality control processes and make continuous improvements to ensure the accuracy and reliability of laboratory results.
A laboratory information management system (LIMS) is a critical tool for managing and organizing the vast amounts of data generated in a laboratory setting. From sample information and test results to instrument data and quality control data, a LIMS can store a wide range of information, each type essential for ensuring laboratory results' accuracy and reliability. Whether you are a laboratory manager or a scientist, LIMS is an investment worth considering.
Want to learn more about finding and buying the right LIMS platform? Download our Solutions Guide, "Labs of the Future: How to Choose a LIMS Provider in 2023" today!