5 Questions to Ask When Buying Laboratory Informatics Systems
Laboratory information management systems (LIMS) are computer programs used to facilitate laboratory operations. They can be used for sample management, instrument integration and monitoring, data collection, compliance, quality assurance, experiment documentation, and many other tasks. LIMS form a central database where lab members can access all laboratory information, increasing transparency and efficiency within your lab.
- What will be the purpose of your LIMS? What functions will you require? (e.g. storing safety data sheets, recording experimental data, developing standard operating procedures)
- How easy is the LIMS to use? Is the software flexible and can it be configured to meet your needs
- Can the LIMS be integrated with software you are already using? Is it compatible with your instruments?
- Does the LIMS support industry-specific compliance regulations? (e.g. Good Laboratory Practices, Good Manufacturing Practices, data integrity guidelines)
- What services are available from the vendor to assist with implementation and use?
More than 80 percent of Lab Manager informatics survey respondents agree that ease of use is the most important feature to consider when purchasing a LIMS.
Ease of use 82%
When purchasing a LIMS, look for software that is highly configurable. When implementing the system, you’ll want to be able to tailor the software to your needs and workflows rather than being confined to its pre-set capabilities. Over time, configurable software will be able to adapt as your needs change without having to implement a new system.