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Choosing the LIMS solution to meet your needs

Selecting a LIMS system for your lab can be a time-intensive process. And it can also be overwhelming. Such an investment can cause you to wonder if you are making the right decision and whether you are judging options based on the most appropriate features.

In addition to the technical details of a LIMS solution, you will also want to consider the “personality” of the vendor, the service commitments, frequency of updates and more. And you will want to make sure you understand what and when extra costs may arise.

We’ll provide postings in the coming days to outline the right questions you should be asking when shopping for or considering a LIMS.

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Expert design for your LIMS is critical to its efficiency

Omega 11 was designed and developed by analytical chemists and experienced software engineers, so the end result is a product that includes features and functionalities that are important to your laboratory. It’s important that not only your LIMS software be developed by software experts to ensure ease-of-use and functionality, but laboratory experts who understand the challenges you are faced with daily.

At Khemia we use a robust database engine (MS SQL Server) that includes huge data storage capacity and performance that suits the needs of an individual user or a large enterprise. But we are always looking for feedback on how the product can evolve and improve. Drop us a line and tell us how we’re doing!

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Report Designs do Matter with LIMS

Most of us are not accomplished graphic designers – or photographers for that matter. But our clients still expect that we will produce easy-to-follow reports that can help them to communicate with other stakeholders how your laboratory is performing.

One of the best ways to ensure that your reports have the information and look you want is to utilize the features inherent with report templates within a LIMS. You should have the choice to customize the look and feel that meet your needs and answer any questions your customers have.

With Omega 11 we have created pre-labeled report templates to meet such needs. For example you can easily configure a report to conform with a quality assurance project plan (QAPP) that is specialized by your client. And you can customize a look and content that adheres to your style.

There are no extra fees for these features, nor should there be. It’s not an option in today’s environment – it’s a requirements. Various certifications and accreditations, such as those from NELAP, ISO 17025, DoD, ELAP and more, have specific requirements on how reporting should look and what information should be included. Best of all making content changes to a report will not affect the overall design.

You may not be a graphic designer. But you can claim to be one provided you have dynamic reporting designs available to you. You can adhere to your branding needs while eliminating mistakes since none of your changes will affect the details provided in the report.

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Productivity is a must when managing the efficiency of your lab

Think of all the features and characteristics that may be keeping your lab from being as productive as possible. The list could be extremely long.

There may be redundant data transcriptions, high batch numbers that overwhelm your lab and need to conduct multiple redos.

You may have inefficient methods of turning bits of data into actionable information. It is possible that you may not be communicating in an effective way with other critical systems in your lab. Today’s modern laboratory needs an enterprise resource planning tool that manages multiple aspects of laboratory operations and informatics.  The laboratory must monitor certain metrics to identify operational goal is to reduce turnaround and improve on-time delivery.

In today’s lab environment these aren’t roadblocks but are merely challenges. At the highest level, what you are likely faced with in too much manual work for your staff and some operational processes that are inefficient or time consuming.

You no doubt have heard of a LIMS but today’s technology is not like the LIMS of yesterday. The key for today’s best-of-breed LIMS solutions is automation, organization and reporting.

Automation allows you to create alerts that will let your lab professionals know when certain samples are expiring. You can stay on time and on budget. Automation can decrease the likelihood of backlog that leads to areas of overcapacity not only unlikely but unimpactful. Consider that a best-of-breed LIMS is designed to help you properly document the activities of your lab at a point in time. Mistakes can be virtually eliminated. Quality is improved. Production is enhanced.

Look for Part 2 of our blog on Productivity next week!

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The History of LIMS

So how did LIMS evolve into the critical software component that they have come today?

LIMS (Laboratory Information Management Systems) are software systems designed to manage laboratory data, workflows and processes. They are applicable to research & development labs, testing labs, Quality Assurance (QA) labs, etc. LIMS also provide a means of automatically integrating the data generated by the various analytical equipment processors within the laboratory into a single data repository.

Early LIMS Systems

Early LIMS were custom-designed and built as point solutions to meet the needs of specific laboratories. This type of in-house systems can take significant amounts of effort to develop and while they may produce a very close fit to the initial requirements, they can prove difficult to change or modify in response to changing laboratory and business practices

Commercial LIMS products were initially developed in the early 1980s. At first these systems often required significant customization to meet a specific laboratory’s needs as far as workflow and reporting were concerned. This increased the cost of the LIMS setup and extended the implementation time required.

Open LIMS Systems

As computing technology changed, LIMS technology developed in parallel and a move towards more open and configurable COTS (Commercial off the Shelf) systems took place. This provided laboratories with greater flexibility to meet their needs within a standard commercial package

Today and the Future of LIMS

Today’s LIMS solutions such as Omega 11 from Khemia offer even greater flexibility and functionality. Many popular commercial LIMS packages utilize open system architecture to offer client capabilities and enterprise-level access to lab data within a client server environment. This latest generation of LIMS moves away from simple sample test and result management to provide the laboratory with a sophisticated Laboratory Informatics architecture.

Contact us for more information on how Omega 11 can meet all the needs you have for a robust LIMS solution.

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