A LIMS for our four-legged friends? Sounds bizarre, doesn’t it? But wait a minute… We don’t mean your dog has to learn how to use software! What we are talking about is Veterinary Labs.

Veterinary Laboratories must provide a high-quality comprehensive service and can cover a wide range of disciplines, including biochemistry, molecular biology, microbiology, haematology, immunology, histology, post-mortem and allergy testing. The use of a LIMS – Laboratory Information Management System – can help improve service level while keeping costs down.

A LIMS allows Veterinary Labs to track samples from submission to testing and reporting and can facilitate the linkage between diagnostic results and response in the field, through a shift from paperwork to computerized systems. Paper-based systems can in fact be time-consuming to manage, and every time data are copied from one piece of paper to another there is the potential for transcription errors. Basic electronic systems (such as Excel) can help with this but can be unwieldy in accessing information at different stages of the sample’s journey through the laboratory.

Laboratory Information Management Systems are now a mature IT technology, and in their varying forms have been operating in the Veterinary Laboratories of many countries for over 20 years.

So why use LIMS in Veterinary Labs?

Save time: LIMS can deftly handle the massive amounts of data that go in and out of labs, significantly reducing the time it takes humans to upload and track any sample data that flows in and out of a laboratory.

Regulatory compliance: LIMS ensure labs keep their operations efficiently running as well as meet the ISO 17025 and other regulatory requirements.

Accuracy: Labs lean on LIMS to produce more accurate results and processes than can be repeated.

Efficiency: LIMS help automate lab operations, everything from data logging to instrument maintenance to streamlining workflows. The automation of the system reduces margins of human error, helps create an audit trail, and offers an effective data management solution.

Lab management: LIMS have the capability to transform a lab’s sample management processes. On top of that, LIMS tidy up lab operations, including repetitive and regularly occurring tasks like meeting compliance and privacy standards.