LIMS, or laboratory information management system, is comprised of software that has the ability to catalog, manage, and compile database forms for resulting and result submission. Interface between instrumentation is needed for quick analysis of test results and data management. Using a LIMS is essential for the reliable productivity needed in most medical, forensic, and research laboratories.
LIMS products must have a myriad of functions to be a reliable source of data management. Databases are set up for each procedure in a medical laboratory, for example. The databases are labeled for each testing procedure, thus giving the laboratory test a range to compare with. Database management is vital to this entire procedure, so using a reliable LIMS is necessary.
In forensics, databases may be different in that they are in coincidence with certain elements used in investigations. Flags can be programmed into the database using LIMS to recognize these elements for the forensic personnel. This then can be an attribute in the case, thus bringing discovery material to the forefront of the investigation.
Medical laboratories typically have a vast database to consider. The multitude of testing procedure results must be analyzed using a database managed by a LIMS product. The database for medical laboratories is so large that manual data management is near impossible. LIMS products can reliably manage these large databases efficiently and without data corruption.
Research in almost all fields of science has databases that are extremely large and complex. A protocol for each discipline is needed to organize each database for easy access. A great LIMS product can accomplish this without corruption of the information, so leaving more time for the sciences than data management. LIMS products can be configures for almost any type of database system. The disciplines of science may be all managed by a quality LIMS product.
Consider a laboratory for forensics. A database is needed for comparisons of certain materials, fingerprint analysis, or even blood specimen type recognition via instrumentation. A well-managed database can alert the forensic science personnel to a match of DNA or fingerprints of a suspect, thus giving indictment evidence to applicants through the forensic laboratory.
In a medical laboratory environment, LIMS database management can aid the technicians to erroneous results, or even diagnose a disorder or disease. As medical advances are made, the database will grow, which can lead to a database overrun. Instrumentation also changes, and the interface of certain devices should be able to connect to medical laboratory servers for analysis. This is easily remedied with a good LIMS data management product.
Without laboratory information management systems most laboratories and investigative personnel would be lost in a mountain of paper documentation and time for data management would open an entirely new department, which could result in cost over-runs or corruption of the database itself. Even a general LIMS product can reduce the risk of database corruption, and can easily do the job of extra personnel. LIMS is the way of the future in database management. LIMS is the essential part of any professional scientific laboratory.