Laboratories are generating a larger volume of data than ever before. With the large amount of data that is produced, special attention needs to be placed on how laboratory information management systems are used to ensure the profitability of laboratories.
Data Inputs and Outputs
Instruments used in a laboratory input and output data. The management system must take data that was recorded in paper in the past and digitize it so it can be shared more easily. It's different from simple data exchange, where information is only transported between two computers. Due to the nature of a laboratory, information is collected from the natural world via instruments and is then transformed into electronic information. This data can then either be transported on a hard copy, such as a disc, or transported through a telecommunications medium.
Mobile technology often needs to be integrated into the management system because mobile devices are increasingly used by laboratories to perform work. To improve efficiency, data needs to be available at all times. Data is easier to access when it is uploaded to the cloud, for example, but this may also lead to security concerns.
One of the concerns when transmitting data is security. In many cases, the data held by a laboratory is confidential. For example, when a test needs to be performed on a patient, personal information about the patient is confidential. Security measures need to be put in place to prevent outside parties from accessing and decoding data.
Another concern is data integrity. It's important that data not become corrupted and that the data transmitted between laboratory instruments and computer systems is correct. Incorrect data can lead to specialists drawing the wrong conclusions.
Data Across Multiple Platforms
Data often needs to be used across several platforms. When a particular platform uses custom code, it might use a format that is incompatible with another platform. Therefore, a management system needs to use file types that are usable by other platforms and need to allow for changes to be made using configurations.
Finding the Right Solution
All laboratories are different and the type of instruments and data that a laboratory handles can vary. Fortunately, there are a broad range of laboratory information management systems to choose from. For example, if you represent a clinical lab, you'll need a system that is designed specifically to work with clinical labs.