A lab information management system (LIMS) can help you stay more organized and make necessary changes to improve efficiency. Whether it is a medical lab or a research lab, lab management software can provide all the technical tools you need to make your lab more modern and advanced. It will also help make life easier for researchers, lab assistants, and anyone else working at or with the lab.
Lab information management systems provide a ton of benefits to their users. Here are seven such benefits you can expect when using a LIMS.
#1 Centralization of Storing, Managing, and Analyzing Laboratory Data
A lab management software solution provides labs and their users with a central place to store, manage, and analyze laboratory data. This is extremely useful for two main reasons.
Firstly, LIMSs allow labs to share data with other labs. If you are part of a multi-lab consortium or network, your lab is likely using a LIMS. The LIMS helps facilitate communication between members of your group. The LIMS may also help you collaborate with other entities outside the lab environment, like =hospitals, government agencies and a biostorage solution that have an interest in your research project.
Secondly, LIMSs lets you share data with other users within the same organization. For example, suppose you work at a biotech company. Recently it has partnered with a university on one particular disease study but not on any others yet. So, it does not want its entire database accessible via public access. Within a LIMS, each institution gets its personal private workspace. There, it can store its documents while still having access to everything needed from its partner through shared permissions.
#2 Strengthens Data Security
One of the most important parts of a lab is its security. Working in a sensitive environment means that you are going to have to take extra precautions with your equipment and data. A LIMS offers secure access, meaning that only those who need it can access certain parts of the system. They also offer compliance with federal regulations like HIPAA, so your company will not be at risk for any violations or fines.
Data security in the biological and medical research sector has gained more importance over the last couple of years. COVID played a huge role in that regard. However, even if not for COVID, people working with such research data should always be on their toes when it comes to data security.
#3 Remote Connectivity via Cloud-Based LIMS
A cloud-based LIMS is a secure way to store and share information at the same time. Using the internet to manage your lab’s data is an efficient way to work. It is especially helpful in work-from-home situations.
The data is stored in one place and can be accessed by authorized users anywhere. All they need is an internet connection. You can also backup your daily progress or data. So, your staff will no longer have to worry about losing valuable information when the network goes down since their data is stored on a secure cloud server.
A cloud-based LIMS also encrypts sensitive patient information, which ensures compliance with industry regulations like HIPAA and FERPA. In addition, some software programs allow you to set up auditing tools so you can track changes made by employees within the system itself.
#4 Helps Meet Regulatory Standards
LIMSs can help you meet regulatory standards. Labs working with hazardous substances must follow strict rules and regulations to ensure that they are not endangering the public or their employees. A good LIMS will be able to track everything from where your chemicals came from all the way through to how much waste is produced by each chemical.
It is also crucial for labs to share data with other facilities, collaborators, regulators, and partners. A proper lab management software makes sharing information super easy and efficient.
#5 Easier to Stay Organized
Labs often work on multiple projects at any given time. Each project usually has multiple datasets, while each dataset may have hundreds of data points on millions of people, animals, etc. Keeping track of all these things is impossible when you think about doing it all manually. However, with lab management software, it is easier to stay organized.
The LIMS will help you keep track of your data. It will also have separate workspaces for different projects. That makes it easier for labs to work on multiple research projects at once.
Having established all that, it is clear that a laboratory information management system is no longer a modern luxury that labs need. It has become a necessity in today’s fast-paced world. Without one, working in a modern-day lab will become extremely difficult, if not impossible.