The medical laboratory plays an important role in the medical field, and these labs need to be equipped with people and software that can do the job correctly and efficiently. Hiring reliable staff is only the first step in ensuring the quality of a lab. Medical laboratories also turn to laboratory information management systems to keep track of the samples they handle on a daily basis. While there are multiple software versions available, it is important to understand these systems before choosing the right medical lab management software for a laboratory.
What is a Laboratory Information Management System?
Within a facility, LIMS, also known as Laboratory Information Management Systems, is the software that functions to track a lab sample from the moment it enters a lab until the moment its results are processed. These systems streamline the multiple steps involved in processing a lab sample and allow for more efficiency as information does not have to be manually inputted at each step. Barcodes can be placed on samples as they enter the facility so they can be scanned into an electronic record that will log all information from beginning to end. Once scanned into the system, LIMS can take over tasks like prepping the sample, running the diagnostic instruments and preparing the analyzed results.
What are the benefits of LIMS?
While the primary benefit of a reliable LIMS is lab efficiency, the following items also make LIMS a valuable part of a laboratory.
- Improves and supports compliance with laboratory standards
- Monitors diagnostic instruments for malfunctions
- Tracks diagnostic reagents and lot numbers to ensure quality control
- Centralizes all information needed to provide laboratory quality control
- Reduces human error by decreasing the amount of manual input of data
As the medical world becomes more computerized, it is important to research software that can not only increase the efficiency within a lab but ensure more accurate results for patients.