As a previous user of Thermo Fisher Scientific LIMS, it was definitely an advancement for not just our department, but the entire company as a whole. Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation (MTF) implemented the LIMS software in spring of 2015 to increase data output of human tissue and bone samples tested to be later used in reconstructive surgeries. Prior to the use of LIMS, MTF was a 100% paper system, which included vast amounts of different forms, work instructions, data review, and other tasks that took away from production.
Within the first six months of utilizing LIMS in the microbiology laboratory, our testing output dramatically increased. We were able to test a variety of samples in larger quantities, record and review data in half the time, and overall change the production flow within the laboratory to enable methods to visit alternative testing strategies. After much success, other departments within MTF were able to adapt to the LIMS software, making the transfer of data and operation planning smoother and successful.
LIMS was able to reduce the number of errors by highlighting fields that were incorrectly or never resulted. It was also a better choice for creating a definite audit trail by reporting the exact user and time in which who and when the data was answered. It enabled records to be pulled up within a matter of seconds and allow testing to become more organized than it was prior to.
- Enables data for any sample or test to be pulled up within a matter of seconds.
- Provides a detailed record used for auditing by recording the exact time and user in which the information was provided.
- Reduces the amount of time within testing by avoiding canceling out unnecessary fields and entering the correct information for each area given.
- LIMS can be an extremely slow system if not updated to the most current version, which can also cause the system to crash in the midst of recording/testing.
- Disables certain features to be accessible depending on user status.
- Does not always adhere to set protocols or standards made for specific data input.
While being an active user at MTF, LIMS was great in being able to complete testing and other daily tasks that would have taken much longer without this system. It enabled a great overall satisfaction to be able to pinpoint who performed each task based on time stamping and avoided many errors regarding lot numbers, expiration dates, and equipment IDs. Thus, being able to validate and report data out to other departments was ALOT faster, which is highly important being that much of our testing was heavily time sensitive and crucial to sustaining life.
However, although LIMS improved the companies overall effectiveness and efficiency, it had some minor issues that created more than one problem. Being that I am no longer employed at MTF, time studies performed utilizing LIMS while testing resulted in the loss of five positions within the laboratory. It's great that it's so fast, but caused controversy by eliminating employees who were highly proficient while using the LIMS software. Also during usage, it would crash numerous times, which would either delay the input of data or completely wipe it out. On several occasions, we risked having to declare deviations on the fact that data was permanently deleted and never to be able to be retained again. This also resulted in a loss of millions of dollars due to tissue and bone samples being thrown away because there was no data to support they were able to be used in surgeries.