The decision to implement a Laboratory Information Management System at your lab can bring you down by a few grands. While the benefits completely overshadow the initial cost being put in the system, but it still does takes a pocket to implement the complete system.
With this post, we will help in choosing a cost effective laboratory information management system (LIMS) and share ways through which you can really bring down the costs involved in the setup. Here are the important factors to consider:
Understand the level of Automation required
A modern laboratory information system comes in multiple modules. The decision on the level and limit of automation required is totally dependent on your needs and goals for your lab. It is important here to understand the strengths of your lab and your staff while implementing the LIMS. A wise decision would be choosing the best-suited modules for automation while leaving out the rest to be done manually. But never, in any case, pick an incomplete solution with the only price in mind – the future aggregated cost may be much higher.
All organizations that provide the Laboratory Information Management System have a standard model for the labs. It is a package where one size fits all, mostly. It would be fair to say that no LIMS is customized to suit 100% requirements of your lab in particular. It is always cost effective to choose a standard solution and make minor customizations to it as major customization requires major investments.
Minimize Hardware Cost
Software needs hardware to run on in most cases. One wrong decision that most people make is to keep your own hardware for every software upgrade. Hardware is a costly affair initially and so is its maintenance. Choosing a cloud based LIMS will not only help minimize the cost of infrastructure setup but also of the up-gradation. Not to mention the cost of IT resources which are needed for the upkeep of the hardware.
Understand Time Targets
The cost of the LIMS starts from the day implementation on site begins. Try to choose a solution which is plug and play, meaning the one which requires minimum time to setup so your system can start functioning as soon as possible.
Cost of Employee Training
Employee training on a new LIMS is utmost important. While often looked on as a waste of resource time, the training can go a long way in the smooth functioning of the lab post implementation of the Lab Information Management System. It is important here to choose an LIMS which is least complex and easy to understand and use. Most vendors provide onsite or web training of their software for the staff of the labs, but mostly these are not based on the proficiency of your staff. Ensure that the IT vendor includes software training as part of the package and training is provided to your staff based on their competencies.
Post Sale Support
You buy an LIMS, the vendor installs it and trains your staff. But is this the end of the relationship? No. It is very important to choose a vendor who provides post sales support for the system and helps recover from the initial hiccups for the system. Understand the importance of post sales support and always negotiate for a win-win association. Also important at this point is to understand the support the vendor provides for system upgrades.
There is a reason you choose automation and the reason are efficiency and making processes faster. Data on the go is a reality that not only helps you make a strategic decision in time but can also improve efficiency by having pathologists approve reports remotely. A small point to consider which can go a long way in your reducing your turnaround time on reports.