The Acronym Architecture Series
Article Three: LIMS (Lab Information Management Systems)
Lab software products are often identified by acronyms meant to differentiate them from one another, but the sheer volume of software available can leave decision-makers feeling confused and overwhelmed about what tools are truly required to be modern, compliant and efficient.
LIMS (Laboratory Information Management Systems)
Laboratory Information Management Systems, commonly referred to as LIMS, are a software solution used by labs to securely manage their laboratory workflows and the data generated from their experiments. Initially used for data tracking, this class of software has evolved to function as more of an enterprise resource planning system for modern labs. By digitizing data management, LIMS platforms help labs adhere to regulatory standards and also improve operational efficiency by automating processes and improving turnaround times.
LIMS systems are valuable for labs capturing data from experiments and other scientific processes, particularly those requiring adherence to compliance standards. Commonly utilized in R&D (research and development) settings as well as process and manufacturing facilities, LIMS software offers the following features and functions:
- Sample Management
- Data Management
- Laboratory Management
- Workflow Automation
- Instrument Integration and Management
- SOP Compliance
- Document Control and Reporting
With these digital tools, a quality LIMS system will provide many benefits to the users at both an individual and organizational level, including:
- Improved efficiency and capacity (and therefore profitability) via process automation
- Relief of burdensome data collection and entry by analysts, freeing them up to focus on the important science and analysis of experimental results
- Reduction of human error via workflow automation
- Real-time reporting for faster analysis and decision-making
- Centralized data and reporting for a single source of truth
- Compliance support through document management
- Global remote access to information
When looking for the best LIMS software for your lab, some important considerations are flexibility of configuration to suit your specific need as well as the option to leverage a cloud-based platform (versus on-premise) to reduce infrastructures costs and promote global access. The ability to integrate your LIMS with other mission-critical software systems such as CMMS, QMS, and, particularly, ELN (which we will discuss next) is another noteworthy feature to look for.
To learn more about digitization strategies and how they might benefit your laboratory, contact the Qualer team.
Up next in this series: Electronic Lab Notebook (ELN)