LIMS use in laboratory data management

  • Nicoleta MUNTEAN Institute of Public Health Cluj – Napoca
  • Radu MIHĂIESCU University Babeş Boliay, Faculty of Environment
Keywords: LIMS, laboratory data management, IT


Laboratory data management is a complex process involving both people and information in order to acquire, organize, store and distribute information. Information conversion to knowledge requires the application of many human qualities such as experience, intelligence, intuition and talent; it is not enough to simply acquire and own data, being necessary to have a proper understanding of the data structure and the required qualities to apply a suitable management system. Modern laboratories produce large amounts of data; with the continuous development of new technologies, both the quality and quantity of information is increasing, causing often significant problems and new methods are needed to manage this situation. Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS) provides a way of automating part of the laboratory system. As the primary function of most laboratories is to provide validated information under some time constraints and based on that information, allowing customers to make decisions, LIMS can save considerable amounts of time and dramatically improve the level of data access for all individuals involved in a given project; the sooner the user is notified of a problem, the sooner that problem can be fixed and the less the solution will cost. Several of the main benefits identified from current users of LIMS are: analytical data can be obtained instantly being also easily accessible online; large amounts of data can be stored without the need for traditional archiving; improvement of data quality as all the analytical instruments are integrated; automated tracking and management; automated customer reports; automated quality control. All these benefits can lead finally to a general improvement of laboratory efficiency. Despite LIMS have been used for more than twenty years, they still remain difficult to implement successfully. This paper provides a brief description of some of the existing technologies available to date, detailing the benefits that a LIMS can offer, giving finally an approach for the development of a successful LIMS implementation.