LIMS Project Pitfall #5
"LIMS can handle all manual procedures and fix all issues within a lab’s current operations."
LIMS vendors paint the picture of perfection… a paperless lab! While the dream of a paperless lab sounds appealing, for many labs this isn’t a realistic dream. While LIMS can make many of your paper-based and manual processes and procedures electronic and automated, it isn’t always the most cost-effective or time-efficient solution.
Issues in the Lab’s current operations should be addressed, business processes should be defined, and priorities determined before the LIMS project begins. LIMS solutions vary in out-of-the-box functionality and the ease and level of effort certain requirements may take to implement differs from LIMS solution to LIMS solution. Once business processes are defined and priorities are determined they can be evaluated against the cost and time to implement in LIMS.
Pain-Points to Paperless… is LIMS the Answer?
Using some real-world pain points from laboratories, let’s determine if LIMS is the answer.
Pain-point 1: My analysts have to copy data from the instrument and paste parts of the data in different areas of three different excel files.
Answer: Some LIMS systems have very robust integration tools. The cost and time to implement instrument integration in LIMS outweighs the manual time and the risk of errors.
Pain-Point 2: My CoA’s and reports have very little commonalities and the format is varied by content.
Answer: The report development platform varies greatly between LIMS solutions. Therefore, the level of effort to design and configure a CoA template can vary greatly. Some may even require customization to meet the requirements of your CoA template. If heavy configuration or customization is required it may not be worth the cost and time to have LIMS generate your CoAs and Reports.
Pain-Point 3: My analysts always forget to record the temperature of the sample before proceeding with testing.
Answer: Most LIMS solutions can be configured to warn/flag users or suspend the continuous procedure if the record is not made. The cost and time to configure this type of warning or flag can significantly outweigh the risks of having incomplete records and the associated sample and data integrity questions that arise because of it.
To Avoid this LIMS Project Pitfall Remember:
- Issues in the Lab’s current operations should be addressed, business processes should be defined, and priorities determined before the LIMS project begins.
- LIMS solutions vary in out-of-the-box functionality and the ease and level of effort certain requirements may take to implement differs from LIMS solution to LIMS solution.
- Be sure to have vendors indicate which of your requirements can be solved by out-of-the-box functionality, which requirements can be solved by configuration and which requirements would require customization to solve.
- If configuration or customization is required, be sure to request the level of effort and cost associated with each.
- Evaluate your requirements against the cost and time to implement in LIMS.
Don’t miss the next installment in our LIMS Project Pitfall series.
LIMS Project Pitfall #6: “The LIMS implemented successfully in a lab similar to mine will work well in my lab.”