Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) is a tool used to administer and manage business workflows and have transformed ways to achieve better throughput. LIMS was traditionally designed to manage clinical workflow to provide more operational control, resulting in accurate output for the benefit of end-users. However, with the increase in demand for flexibility, information tracking, data exchange, data security, and end-to-end workflow management, the concept of a LIMS has evolved over the last decade. Therefore, with so many types of LIMS available today, that include varied features, it’s important to know the best fit for your business.
Here is what you must consider before you finalize the best LIMS for your Lab in order to enhance laboratory & business solutions
Core Functions and Features to Look for
The ideal laboratory management software should act as more than a tool to process and manage your data. It must also be an interactive platform that facilitates different laboratory functions and improves resource efficiency. A system that offers automation, device interfacing, intuitive reporting tools, and a streamlined workflow pattern would be a truly end-to-end solution. Beyond this, a system that is flexible, configurable, reliable and user friendly and scales easily with your business are characteristics of systems that you should invest in over the long term.
2. Effective Budget Utilization
While determining which solutions match your budget, the total cost of ownership is more important than the cost of a system. LIMS is proven to be a long term investment, and hence looking at the cost incurred purely on buying a system is a myopic view of budgeting. The estimation should also include its price, the resources involved in deployment, operating and maintaining the system and the expenditure that is incurred on account of the time spent operating it entirely.
A cost effective solution is one that gives a higher return on investment over the medium term.
3. Quality Assured
Lab information software must offer quality over entire process management, matching standardized laboratory practices. The utility of the product should well-defined to match standardized specifications. Every system update should offer stability, viability and must be configurable as per current market trends.
4. High-security over Data
Handling a massive amount of data is a day-to-day challenge for every lab. However, the best lab management solution provides a secure platform for data storage and management. With such a storage platform, all laboratory and business data are stored safely with added security layers and high encryption. HIPAA compliant software is the most advisable one as it offers a secure server and safeguarded medium to exchange sensitive information amongst clients and patients.
5. Implementation & Customer Support
Knowing the on-boarding process, training and support is as important as reviewing software. Interview LIMS vendors to check on the time frame required for onboarding and staff training processes. The support team must offer both on-sale and post-sale support which is much needed to resolve early hiccups and also useful during system upgrades.
Before you choose, it is essential for you to navigate through the marketplace, research newly introduced technologies and their differences, review lab informatics software that is viable today and is future ready, and evaluate vendors accordingly.
Different Ways Software can be Deployed or Implemented
On-premise — Demands purchase of proper networking, IT infrastructure, database software, operating system, power supply, pest control, additional hardware, etc. By purchasing a license for the software, you install it on your servers and share information over its network. To keep all lab operations safe and up-to-date, the maintenance of resources in this setup becomes necessary. If you already have a network and server setup in place, going with on-premise onboarding is a feasible option. The additional cost of maintaining and updating hardware should also be factored into cost-benefit analysis.
Cloud-hosted — Demands purchase on software whereas hardware and infrastructural resources are rented from the vendors or from a third party. Hosted over a remote server, you still have a license to run and upgrade the software as and when required. It is critical that you assess the robustness of infrastructure at server side, since that would determine your overall uptime.
Cloud-based — Utilizes Software as a Service (SaaS) model that demands no IT infrastructure or hardware resources for its setup. You have to pay an annual subscription fee to your vendors who offer cloud services which cover for software, servers, and network. A stable internet connection is all that is needed to access the system. Being low on budget and requiring no expenditure over infrastructure or hardware, cloud-based solutions are therefore more preferred than the rest. Cloud based systems are the most effective way of using state-of-the-art technology at affordable costs.
While meeting your requirements, lab management software must also provide a smooth, secure and flexible approach to your business. Hence, you must look for advanced solutions that enhance usability for current as well as future laboratory practices.
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