In today’s competitive and highly regulated drug discovery industry, operational efficiency and compliance are crucial to business success. This is especially true for the in vivo research phases where operational costs are high and security, compliance and safety can become significant concerns when data is poorly managed.
Modern labs benefit from the use of laboratory information management software (LIMS), which streamlines otherwise cumbersome processes to deliver the accessibility that today’s researchers require.
What are Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS)?
There is a broad range of software systems called LIMS, each targeting different aspects of some laboratory process. In general LIMS are the crucial centerpiece of operations management and data collection in a laboratory. A well-architected LIMS allows the experiment designer or lab manager to set up the parameters of a process so that the resource management team can schedule activities and the execution team can do their work in a fast, safe, and compliant manner.
LIMS also makes it possible to efficiently collect data and process and track large batches of lab samples. Thus, they are called upon to maintain efficient workflows in labs dealing with high-throughput operations with massive numbers of tasks designed to capture complex information.
Key functions and processes handled with LIMS include:
- Automating data collection
- Capturing data from instrument
- Performing batch operations
- Designing experiments
- Scheduling and allocating resources
- Tracking lot numbers of reagents
- Providing business intelligence
- Managing lab workflows
- Unifying laboratory tasks
- Tracking samples
- Tracking chain-of-custody
- Providing data-change audit reports
- Providing compliance reports
- Aggregating and harmonizing data
While LIMS plays a critical role in a variety of industries, these systems are especially vital in pharmaceutical companies, where they are relied upon for in vivo studies. In vivo studies include complex protocols of time-bound tasks that must be executed to precise specifications in order to produce meaningful data.
In addition to protocol execution, the increasingly fast pace of this evolving sector, drives the need to quickly produce and accurately track samples. The automation and tracking provided through LIMS makes it possible to keep track of samples as they enter the lab and through every step of the experimentation process.
What Are the Differences Between LIMS and ELN?
LIMS should not be confused with electronic lab notebooks (ELN). ELNs are just that, electronic notebooks where researchers record activities while they are working. ELNs are also connected to powerful databases so that scientists can look up information immediately while they are working and they have limited ability to direct workflows. LIMS, on the other hand, are designed for more controlled workflow execution and data capture. Where ELNs are typically flexible allowing note taking on the fly, LIMS are used for driving high throughput operations that require regimented and structured workflows with full chain of custody and audit tracking.
LIMs are designed to manage enterprise scale workflows where teams may need to work collaboratively across campuses, time-zones, or even national boundaries. LIMS can handle very high-throughput workflows where speed, precision, accuracy, chain of custody, and audit trails are required. Cloud based LIMS are built on global secure infrastructure with powerful databases that handle heavy workloads with data capture.
How Can LIMS Benefit Medical and Pharmaceutical Labs?
When it comes to maintaining a study log, LIMS goes above and beyond in terms of accessibility and efficiency. With modernized functionality, LIMS tailored to in vivo workflows maintains the standard of excellence that biomedical research and drug discovery labs require.
LIMS is also valuable for handling detailed data for regulatory compliance purposes. Given the large volume of samples required for clinical research, data tracking approaches that lack automation can be both difficult to handle and prone to errors. Once a quality LIMS database is deployed, labs can feel confident that data is accurate and protocols were executed to specification. LIMS can ensure full compliance is maintained to meet strict government regulations.
User experience should also be considered when implementing drug discovery LIMS software. LIMS that are difficult to use, will always be bypassed by laboratory technicians who don’t have the time to struggle with difficult technology. Labs that use mobile devices to connect with their animal research data management systems, can easily optimize their workflows and stay compliant. This proves useful when undergoing the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (IACUC) reviews.
How Can Labs Benefit from Climb Animal Research LIMS Software?
Organizations conducting in vivo research can count on RockStep Solutions Climb to provide exceptional cloud-based study management. Climb’s mobile-friendly animal research data management systems support laboratory workflows from mobile devices while delivering options for both automated and manual data capture. This collaboration platform addresses many of the most concerning problems surrounding data collection, aggregation, and delivery.
Cloud first, and born mobile, Climb makes it easy to capture and deliver data exactly when and where it’s required. The ability to do so is valuable in today’s rapidly evolving medical and pharmaceutical industries. Prompt access to accurate lab data is more important than ever before.
There’s no substitute for strong lab management systems, and the right in vivo software solution can deliver huge improvements in data accuracy and lab efficiency. Climb is the best in class option for streamlining modern animal research labs to promote breakthroughs in drug discovery.
Want to learn more about animal research LIMS software? Contact RockStep today.