When looking for a laboratory information management system (LIMS), there are many considerations – price, functionality, future growth, and impact on processes.
A LIMS can provide robust features related to lab automation, reporting, billing and sample management. There are major cost savings with lab information management systems, ranging from a more efficient use of staff time to reduced need for server space and cooling costs.
There are many factors that go into selecting a LIMS. There are technical considerations, ownership costs, usability, features offered, and security functions to ponder.
The costs of ownership can be both explicit and implicit, but should be aggregated before a final decision is made. Here are a few of the key areas where a LIMS can make a significant difference.
- Accuracy. With a LIMS, there is significantly reduced the risk of errors related to manual entry of data, including errors related to transcribing data from bench sheets. In addition, automated systems can trace and consolidate these measurements into a single system.
- Support costs. Customization can be very expensive and the wait time can be long as developers are in high demand. A LIMS that offers robust configuration features that empower laboratory staff to make quick changes to screens, reports, label formats, permissions and more can influence the bottom line, often in dramatic ways.
- Redistributing work. Automation via a LIMS can change staffing models considerably. Work that used to be done manually, including taking in samples, billing management, auditing equipment and monitoring sample progress can now be handled by the LIMS.
- Releasing bottlenecks. A LIMS can also solve a number of other issues in lab operations. Consider some of the common areas of bottlenecking in a lab: calculations, regulatory review preparation, report generation, results location, results review and release, sample location, updating sample and test status, work assignments and workload leveling. In each case, efficiency gains can be quantified.
In addition to the quantitative factors above, there are a number of qualitative considerations when thinking about a laboratory information management system. While determining a hard cost for these items may be difficult, they should all be factored into the decision-making process.
A LIMS has the potential to increase the availability of information from and about your lab. The additional time can lead to an increase in capacity for collaboration and innovation, often leading to potential new customers. Plus, a robust tracking system for samples and results improves the lab’s scientific effectiveness.
Freezerworks is a leader in lab information management systems. Our software reduces costs throughout the lab. From workflow management and cost recovery features to configurable fields and security settings and powerful search tools, Freezerworks has the tools that transform lab operations. For nearly 30 years, Dataworks Development, Inc., has been providing quality database software products for laboratories. Request a demo and discover how Freezerworks can reduce costs and improve efficiency in your lab.