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Mr Aj

In: Business and Management

Submitted By aj1234
Words 725
Pages 3
Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS)
LIMS as an information management system

LIMS is the information management system used in the Analytical Laboratory, Water Laboratory and Biological Sciences Laboratory at Scientific Services. LIMS was implemented in July 2007 to improve work processes, traceability, turn-around time, data security and accountability and to incorporate the aspects and requirements of ISO 17025.

Sample lifecycle using LIMS
Sampling of samples
Samples are sampled by either internal or external samplers. Our internal samplers perform their sampling routes using handheld units with a built-in GPS functionality that are interfaced with the LIMS system and capture valuable data e.g. sample date and time, distance travelled, field tests performed, sampling and field test notes.

Logging samples
Samples are logged into LIMS via bar-code scanning or scheduling. Once this is done, a unique sample number, which can be used as a tracking or reference number as part of the ISO 17025 standards, is assigned to it. A bar-coded label containing this number is attached to the sample bottle, and this is used in the laboratories for label scanning. Receiving, logging, bar-coding and distributing of samples is undertaken at our centralised Sample Receiving Area.

Analysing and receiving of samples into the laboratory
Samples are scanned into the various laboratories for traceability purposes, so as to define their exact location. Afterwards, Laboratory Technicians create work batches in LIMS which batch the samples according to preset requirements e.g. grouping samples of the same product type together in a pre-determined sequence. After completing analysis according to strict ISO 17025 requirements, the results are either manually entered into LIMS or exported directly from the laboratory instruments into the system.

Authorising of samples
Sample results are authorised by senior laboratory staff who evaluate the data against the prescribed specifications as set in LIMS. The results are then either approved for reporting purposes or rejected for further processing.
Interfacing handheld units with LIMS
Handheld units with built-in GPS functionality have been interfaced with LIMS, assisting internal samplers in the sampling of water samples and capturing exact sampling information i.e. name of sampler, sampling route, sampling time, kilometres travelled, field tests performed and any other observations made at the sampling points. This data forms a vital part in the overall sample data and ensures that samples are taken at the correct sampling sites.

Scanning of samples into LIMS
Barcode scanners have been configured to allow for scanning of samples at various stages in the sample lifecycle in LIMS, e.g. logging of samples, receiving of samples into the various laboratories, inputting samples on the instrument benches, etc. and therefore improving on sample lifecycle turn-around time.

Interfacing laboratory instruments with LIMS
Fourteen laboratory instruments have been directly interfaced with LIMS, eliminating the need for result entries by users and thereby avoiding errors, improving on sample turn-around time and storing of instrument output file records for ISO 17025 requirements.

Interfacing LIMS with various other systems
LIMS has been interfaced with various other information management systems e.g. Departmental Information Management System (DIMs) which is an internal management tool, Blue Drop System (Department of Water Affairs) and Green Drop System (Department of Water Affairs). This has drastically improved the ability to transfer data between the different information management systems and enables a high level of data integrity to be maintained. Interfacing LIMS with these information management systems enables water quality data on management levels to be displayed. Interfacing the various information management systems has also improved the turn-around time in publishing the water quality data on the Department of Water Affair’s website.

Information and communication upgrade
Besides the laboratory information management system, we have also upgraded our network infrastructure, hardware and software requirements e.g. we have installed additional network points, bar-code scanners, label printers and anti-virus software on instrument computers.

Outputs of the information management system
Various reports which display water quality data to internal and external clients have been configured in LIMS. These range from simple to complicated and are either generated manually i.e. user input driven, or automatically i.e. no user input required. They are produced on specific days and times. These reports have been configured inline with ISO 17025 accreditation requirements, covering all aspects of traceability, accountability, analysis methods, measurement of uncertainty and uniformity.…...

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