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What Is LIMS & Its Types? – For Medical Labs

What is LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System)?

LIMS stands for Laboratory Information Management Software. It is a solution that enables a systematic process setup. These include all activities mainly sample handling & tracking, reporting, and other activities involved within or off the lab premise. This solution is designed to address the major challenges that a lab often faces wrt to volume, staff, and resource management. 

While the reason a lab is set up is to deliver quality services to patients, often it is indulged in unnecessary paperwork and resource handling that keeps them aloof from the main task. This is why they restrain themselves from matching their customers’ and B2B expectations. 

Here’s where LIMS can fit in and take charge of all information management while the lab can be busy handling patients and generating revenue as they go. 

What Is The Purpose Of Using A LIMS?

Every piece of information related to the sample, patient, or business is sensitive. It is the key to running the entire business. This is why, it is essential to digitize it on a secure platform, streamline it and standardize it for improved management. Using LIMS solves this purpose. 

LIMS is a solution that labs must utilize to deliver value to their patients, clients, and connecting organizations.

LIMS software streamlines all the meaningful information to generate an end-to-end process without any leakages. So, when sample data is managed without any hindrance and automated tools like machine interfacing, you can generate error-free results. This is why the main function that LIS fulfills is to digitize data, streamline it and process it the right way to generate meaningful information useful for future decision-making.

Although, how does Laboratory Information Management System make a difference today and for the better tomorrow for labs?

Traditional Lab Management Vs LIMS

What labs really need to understand is that as we move more toward digital transformation, we have to detach from the traditional lab management ways and switch to smarter techniques. 

Traditional Lab Management involves:

  • Paper documentation, billing, and handwritten or printed reports
  • Handwritten sample ids, archived sheets, registers, test masters, guides
  • Manual communication, data entries, and transfers
  • Cash management with a lack of transaction history
  • Lack of sufficient data on the patient, patient history, staff training manuals, standard procedures, finance, transactions, staff, off-premise activities

Laboratory Information Management Software involves:

  • End-to-end digitization of data records, flow, and transfer
  • Barcode labels for samples; easy to track sample status
  • Automated workflows, results & integrated machines & systems
  • Online transactions & integrated payments for seamless finance tracking
  • A standardized process with more visibility on stakeholder & business data

Types Of LIMS

The three most common types of LIMS are Offline, Standalone or web-based, and cloud-based LIMS.

Offline Lab Software

An offline lab software handles activities from registration to reporting. This software is most suited for labs with minimal data handling and flow. However, it is unable to sustain a greater data load of your lab business. Therefore, the limitations that offline systems offer makes them unsuitable for labs that are expanding or have many centers.

Standalone / One-time installation / Web-based LIMS

This type of lab management solution only works when you are online. It is also called a standalone LIMS and offers one-time installation without any further support.

This web-based laboratory management system offers good data storage capacity. So, if your lab is expanding you would need to purchase and install a higher version of this type of LIMS again.

Know the difference between offline LIMS vs online LIMS in detail

Cloud-based LIS

It is much more advanced and flexible as compared to the other two types of lab software. It offers more storage capacity and is flexible and sustainable to scalability. So, if your lab is expanding, you do not have to worry about data flow or operations handling with cloud-based LIS software. This is why cloud-based LIMS is much better than standalone lab software.

Advantages Of Using LIMS In Your Medical Lab

The advantages of using LIMS in your medical laboratory are as follows:

  • Error-free process
  • Quick reporting and communication
  • Leakage-free finance management
  • Less redundancy more productivity
  • Saves costs and unnecessary expenditures
  • Better decision-making & future planning

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