The management of laboratory samples and the associated analysis and reporting are often time-consuming processes and if done manually then often also riddled with transcription errors. This work is also getting more demanding, with an increasing amount of time spent to fulfill regulatory standards and regulations from FDA. ISO 17025, GLP and 21 CFR Part 11 from the Food and Drug Administration (United States) are all examples of this. With their own specific documentation requirements.
The solution for larger Laboratories has often been to install a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS). A LIMS is a database with key features such as workflow and data tracking support. Older LIMS were often developed in-house whereas today often general software solutions are used, with relational databases and cloud access. Modern LIMS are developed to be sold to most laboratories with almost endless customization and other settings. This is of course an advantage if you have many different Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and a wide range of departments.
However, while this is more cost-efficient than in-house development it is still a significant investment and requires support from an IT department to manage.
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