LIMS e-reporting is one of the most important parts of any lab information management system and one of the key benefits that encourage companies to use it. Over the past few years, LIMS software has become in high demand by many research institutions, healthcare providers, and other organizations around the world.
According to Grand View Search, North America is the global leader in employing LIMS solutions. This software is also being introduced in laboratories across Asia and Europe.
Various and diverse data underlie the activities of all laboratories and research institutions. The ability to generate a large number of the required reports is one of the primary reasons for LIMS growing popularity.
Introduction into laboratory reports
Before deciding to build a laboratory information management system with electronic reporting, common questions that you may ask are: “What is a lab report in a LIMS?”, “What is a lab report structure?”, and “How to write a lab report?”. Let’s consider them one-by-one.
- A lab report generally describes an experiment that validates a certain scientific concept. Since LIMS software is intended to support various processes, it provides other types of records. For example, a LIMS involves sample management and operational reports among many others.
- A structure can be very different depending on the report type and your goals. It can comprise many parts of a lab report such as graphs, tables, diagrams, names of samples, test results, test stages, sample expiration dates, etc.
- You can make a lab report on your own, which means that you will manually create documents and tablets. Or you can use numerous pre-built report templates provided by your lab information management system, which is faster and more convenient.
Have a look at what benefits you can obtain by integrating LIMS software into your company.
Why should you integrate LIMS software with various lab reports?
There are many benefits that a LIMS reporting system can provide you with. The first and most important step is to define your lab purpose, analyze internal operations, and think where electronic reports can help you.
This will give you a clear understanding of what lab reports you need, for instance, for sample management, inventory tracking, sample registration, or for all of these goals at the same time.
The key advantages of lab reports are:
- Laboratory reports accompany all processes such as sample monitoring and registration, research, sample testing, result or test analysis, inventory tracking, etc.
- Lab reports help employees record, monitor, and track all their important information.
- The ability to visualize important data, since a lab management system allows you to generate visual LIMS reports in graphs, charts, and tables.
- Lab reports can be converted into any desired format, or printed, or shared with other parties (departments, organizations, etc).
- A LIMS reporting system will help you migrate to the complete electronic document management. As a result, workflows will be paperless and task/report statuses will be tracked on app dashboards. What’s more, employees will have access to the latest document version while having the ability to view a history of changes.
We’ve already touched on an issue of different report types in LIMS software. Now, let’s take a deeper look at this subject and consider what objectives each of them has.
The main types of laboratory reports
As a rule, a reporting system in LIMS software is developed based on your working processes. For the convenience of users, it can be modified, supplemented, and extended to meet evolving demands. For example, you can add other lab reports besides those that you’ve already had.
1) Sample management reports
Samples are the working material that each laboratory works with. The lab report purpose is to let companies monitor different processes like registration, assignment of test items, distribution by structural units, control of expiration dates, etc.
Using this type of lab report, you will prevent any losses, increase accuracy, and reduce costs. It will also help you better keep numerous records and plan further tasks.
2) Operational lab reports
There are many processes associated with samples. LIMS reports of this type reflect the activities of different structural departments and individual specialists. Employing them, you will be able to monitor the status of test tasks (for example, in progress, paused, submitted for revision, resumed, etc.), as well as analyze intermediate and final research results.
Therefore, with this functionality enabled in your company, you will not always know the state of lab research but will also track staff productivity.
3) Resource management reports
Resource management reports are one of the key features that you should integrate into your LIMS system. They provide companies with the ability to significantly improve accounting of various consumables, equipment (e.g. tubes calibration), and human resources.
Thanks to them, you will optimize costs, avoid losses, and monitor the whole inventory including each small item.
4) Business management lab reports
The relationship between the laboratory and other parties—customers, clients, or patients—requires constant accounting and monitoring. This group of reports provides the information on the number of samples given by one or multiple clients, the time spent on research, and steps that are taken for each project.
Due to the analysis of business management lab reports, you can better organize the work in your company, plan and assign various tasks.
5. Financial reports
These laboratory reports contain data on the organization’s income, payments, and other financial information. Furthermore, they include invoices for equipment repair and maintenance, employee salaries, and more. A clear understanding of budget spendings will make it easier to properly plan further work.
Surely, this is not a complete list of preconfigured LIMS reports. In addition to the above-mentioned types, they may also involve patient-oriented reports, project management reports, audit trail and quality control reports, etc.
Having solid experience in LIMS development, we know how important it is to delve into the project goals and establish close collaboration with the client.
This helps us define how the future system should behave and prepare a detailed technical specification. As a consequence, our team builds a software solution fully tailored to business-specific requirements.
Now, we are creating a LIMS for a down content analysis laboratory. To meet the customer’s needs, we focused on real-time data analytics and performance monitoring, from receiving each sample to submitting test results.
Analytics and statistics are essential elements of laboratory research. A flexible LIMS reporting system that allows you to get the necessary information at any time, is an important and distinctive quality of this software. What’s more, you will be able to ensure efficient sample and inventory tracking, enhanced budget control, automated processes, minimized human errors, and raised productivity.
LIMS can generate lab reports in different categories: time, tasks, performance, materials and equipment, operational resources, financial data, etc., which is especially useful for healthcare, scientific, biotechnology, and other companies. Therefore, you will better organize the work with an accurate LIMS reporting system.