Rounding Out Your LIMS with LabLynx Services

Rounding Out Your LIMS with LabLynx Services | LabLynx Resources

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LabLynx is much more than an application developer. Our client relationships do not begin and end with a software sale. What we care about is helping our clients solve their challenges. Whether they want to reduce turnaround times or make their compliance audits less disruptive, LabLynx can make a difference.

Of course, laboratory information management system (LIMS) software is our core product. Turning that software into a practical laboratory solution, however, takes far more than lines of code. LabLynx adds a range of services to turn LIMS software into your lab’s unique superpower.

Our clients take advantage of a wide variety of services throughout the LIMS adoption process, from the earliest planning phase all the way through long-term support. Bringing our services in at key points in the process can magnify their impact.

This article will introduce each LabLynx service and explain how our clients use them to optimize their LIMS and transform their labs.

LIMS design and planning

To ensure the LIMS delivers on our promise, we need to get to know you and how your lab works. This requires a collaborative relationship from the beginning. Working together, we identify your requirements and scope out the project. At this initial phase, several LabLynx services can make significant long-term improvements to your lab’s performance.

  • Consulting services: Leverage the LabLynx team’s deep expertise to plan process improvements and develop growth strategies.
  • Cloud hosting services: Get world-class reliability and accessibility while balancing financial and compliance priorities.
  • Data migration services: Eliminate legacy systems’ support and maintenance costs by incorporating their structured and unstructured data in your new LIMS.
  • Integration services: Improve laboratory performance and customer communication by connecting your LIMS with systems in your lab, the enterprise, and beyond.

Consulting services

For more than a quarter century, we have helped laboratories across industries and around the world improve their operations with LabLynx LIMS solutions. Those improvements are not limited to the benefits of the LIMS itself. Our team of experts can offer insights into laboratory practice and business strategy.

LabLynx engineers and project managers are laboratory professionals with decades of experience doing what you do. In their time with us, they have developed cross-cutting perspectives that let them see the commonalities between labs as diverse as soil testing and cancer genomics.

Take advantage of that expertise with LabLynx consulting services. When we sit down together to plan how to make your LIMS the central information hub for your lab, our experts can offer advice on other aspects of laboratory operations. At the same time, we can suggest optimizations of your testing workflows that go beyond merely recreating your manual processes within the LIMS.

Consider the realities at many small to mid-sized labs that cannot afford dedicated compliance managers. Since the responsibility falls on people serving other roles, any compliance audit can disrupt the entire organization. The LabLynx consulting services team becomes a force multiplier ahead of an accreditation audit or a regulatory review. You know your lab, we know your LIMS, and together we can get your systems and reports ready to meet the most exacting evaluation.

We even have consulting clients who do not use our LabLynx LIMS solutions. They call on us for help applying good laboratory practice (GLP) guidelines, growth planning, and strategy development. With a LIMS or without, the LabLynx team applies the same client-centric mission of service excellence.

Cloud hosting services

LabLynx takes a cloud-first approach to the design of laboratory informatics solutions. Hosting our LIMS software and other products in the cloud lets us deliver a level of accessibility, reliability, scalability, and security that you cannot get from on-premises software.

As we work together to scope out your new LIMS project, one of the first decisions to make is how your LIMS will exist in the cloud. You have a choice between multi-tenant and dedicated hosting options.

In multi-tenant hosting, several clients share computing power, memory, and storage resources in the LabLynx cloud. Although running on the same hardware, each client’s configuration of the LIMS software is securely isolated from the others.

Multi-tenancy lets LabLynx efficiently manage cloud resources by, for example, reallocating computing power from one client to another as demand changes. As a result, multi-tenant cloud hosting is a secure, cost-effective option for most laboratories.

Clients with more demanding use cases, or those who must meet more stringent security standards, may choose dedicated hosting. The client’s LIMS will be the only software running on the cloud resources.

Data migration services

A challenge many clients face is what to do with all the data in their existing systems. They may need that information to support their customers. Regulations may have retention rules that require keeping old data accessible for several years. In either case, maintaining legacy systems for years takes resources away from other priorities.

LabLynx data migration services can make your LIMS the central source for all lab information, old and new. Throughout this process, the LabLynx data migration team works with everyone responsible for, or dependent on, the legacy data.

We will identify the sources of your legacy data, structured and unstructured. Our assessment will map data type, quality, dependencies, format, and other factors to the structure of your LabLynx LIMS. A data migration plan will define how we clean and transform the data ahead of the migration.

For example, chemical testing labs that serve the gasoline distribution system must keep their test results for five years under 40 CFR 80.74 of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Rather than maintaining an outdated records system for half a decade, LabLynx data migration services will move these clients’ legacy records into the LabLynx ELab LIMS database.

Integration services

Labs can get by using their LIMS as a standalone system. But doing so misses opportunities to improve laboratory performance. In particular, the errors introduced by manual data transfers will reduce testing accuracy and repeatability.

Integrating your LIMS with instruments and other laboratory systems turns your LIMS into the central, authoritative source of truth for stakeholders inside and outside your lab. Linking directly with instruments eliminates sources of human error, strengthens data integrity, and streamlines reporting compliance.

Using our LabVia hardware and software solution, we can link your lab’s equipment and analytical systems to your LIMS. Instruments, sensors, spreadsheets, and more will exchange data with your LIMS. Eliminating data entry errors will boost your lab’s quality of service by improving accuracy and reducing turnaround times.

LIMS integration within the enterprise strengthens your lab’s contribution to the business. Internal customers such as manufacturing or healthcare providers get more accurate test results faster. Your lab can more efficiently access accounting and other enterprise-wide systems.

LabLynx clients have used our integration services to improve external customers’ interaction with their labs. Linking their LIMS with our web portal solutions lets customers place orders, track the testing process, and get results at their convenience. Web portal integration shortens perceived turnaround times and frees laboratory staff from basic customer service tasks.

Rounding Out Your LIMS with LabLynx Services

Developing your LIMS

With planning complete, LabLynx engineers begin configuring our LIMS platform into a tailored solution for your lab. Engaging LabLynx services during this project phase can improve business continuity and set up your lab for long-term success. Configuration services include:

  • Implementation services: Keep your staff focused on performing tests for customers by letting the LabLynx team handle the initial LIMS setup and other activities.
  • Validation services: LabLynx can test critical processes and workflows to document their effectiveness.
  • Compliance services: LabLynx can design your LIMS to support your lab’s accreditation and regulatory compliance efforts.

Implementation services

During the implementation phase, your project team and LabLynx turn plans into action. The scale and scope of moving laboratory processes into a LIMS can seem daunting. For example, getting your LIMS setup would require an all-hands effort that would disrupt your lab’s daily operations.

LabLynx implementation services make the transition more manageable. Our team can take on these workloads, so your team remains focused on supporting customers. Some of the services we can provide include:

  • Stakeholder setup: Let LabLynx enter user, client, and supplier information. We can define the user profiles and permissions that determine what LIMS features each user may access.
  • Method configuration: Your scientists and technicians shouldn’t spend days populating every method with specifications, limits, and other values. LabLynx engineers can take care of this as they enable the methods in your LIMS configuration.
  • Report and label design: Your LabLynx LIMS includes design tools that let you customize standard report and sample label templates. Rather than having your administrator create every template your lab will use, let our team take care of the initial work.

Validation services

Consistency is one of the benefits of LabLynx’s cloud-based LIMS platform. Clients worldwide use the same code to manage their labs, even though their configurations are very different. When we configure our software to meet your lab’s requirements, the underlying code remains unchanged.

This consistency simplifies the implementation phase since it requires less testing than a blank-sheet development project would. Of course, there is a difference between knowing it works and proving it works.

LabLynx validation services deliver the evidence proving your LIMS is fit for its intended purpose and meets specifications.

During the planning phase, we will work together to specify the project’s validation requirements. This will include which LIMS processes and workflows require validation, the tests we will use, and the documentation we will provide.

Before your LIMS goes live, LabLynx engineers will perform the validation tests. We will review the results with your project team and decide how to resolve any issues. Final reports will document the validation process itself, the tests we performed, and the results for each tested process.

LabLynx can also provide validation services after launch. For example, if a change to the LIMS platform impacts your lab’s validation status, we can test the affected process and document the validation. Laboratories in the medical device industry, for example, may request LabLynx validation services when they add new test methods. Under 21 CFR 820.70, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) requires validation of any software used in quality systems. Adding a new method to the lab’s LIMS is simple enough for its LIMS administrators to do themselves. Given the importance of proper validation, however, the client may request support from the LabLynx validation services team.

Compliance services

Most LabLynx clients follow industry or regulatory frameworks for laboratory quality control.

Maintaining accreditation or regulatory compliance requires extensive documentation and auditable records. LIMS software is essential to any compliance process, and LabLynx can help lay a strong foundation for your lab’s compliance efforts.

Compliance services start during project planning. We work with you to identify the compliance frameworks relevant to your lab. These could be voluntary frameworks such as ISO/IEC 17025, industry accreditations such as the College of American Pathologists’ (CAP’s) accreditation of pathology laboratories, or regulatory mandates such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which governs how organizations handle patient information.

With the requirements identified, we configure compliance management features into your LabLynx LIMS. This can include workflow designs, access controls, or reporting tools. Along the way, we may identify opportunities to improve compliance through changes to business policies and laboratory procedures.

Since much of your lab’s operations will run through your LabLynx LIMS, our compliance team will help document your new standard operating procedures (SOPs). We will also train your compliance manager to use the reporting and auditing tools within the LIMS.

For example, clients in the environmental testing industry may need to comply with the EPA’s 40 CFR Part 792, which governs environmental research studies. The rule’s specimen handling requirements include SOPs for specimen collection and identification, specific metadata to associate with each specimen, as well as processes for tracking the location of specimens during and after the study.

To help such clients meet these EPA rules, LabLynx compliance services can specify LIMS configurations, such as specimen classes and relevant metadata. We would configure sample management capabilities within the LIMS to fulfill the EPA’s specimen tracking requirements. Compliance services can also assist with the production of SOP documentation.

From launch to operations

Far too many IT projects collapse when released into the real world. Users confused by the new systems revert to old habits. Long after the launch, technical issues and undocumented changes can throw organizations into disarray. LabLynx services will streamline your LIMS’ crucial transition from implementation to daily operations. Onboarding services include:

  • Training services: When your new LIMS goes live, we ensure your staff knows how to use the features that matter to them.
  • Support services: In the weeks following the launch, we inevitably field questions from people getting used to the new software. Fast response times define our long-term support services.
  • Change control services: If your compliance frameworks require tracking software updates and modifications, our change control services team will provide the documentation you need.

Training services

Even when perfectly aligned with how your lab has always worked, a new LIMS is a dramatic change to any lab’s operations. All the planning and testing in the world won’t matter if your staff struggles to get things done.

Training is the best way to hit the ground running. Before your LabLynx LIMS goes live, our training services team will develop comprehensive training resources tailored to your lab.

Based on your requirements, these resources may include manuals, video presentations, and virtual or in-person training sessions. All documentation and recordings of training sessions will be accessible from your LIMS.

A role-based approach is the only way to teach people how to use a feature-rich LabLynx LIMS. Laboratory technicians need to learn sample management features. Office personnel need to know how to enter customer information. Neither wants to sit through the other’s training. We can create focused resources that give particular groups of LIMS users the most relevant training for their roles in your lab.

Our clients may request additional training services as they staff up to meet a surge in demand. Independent study using the original training materials may work well for individual new hires, but that approach may not work well when hiring many people all at once. Our training services team will bring this cadre of new hires up-to-speed so they are ready to go on day one.

Support services

Once your LIMS goes live, LabLynx support services will help keep your lab running smoothly. Our support staff is committed to delivering quick, clear, and concise responses to answer your employees’ LIMS questions.

The LabLynx Help Desk is staffed around the clock every day of the year. Your LIMS users can call our general support line or open a ticket through our online support site. The standard response time for general help requests is one business day.

Your LIMS administrators will need more specialized support. They may request refreshers on infrequently-used features or have technical questions about configuring the LIMS software. Besides getting answers from the LabLynx Help Desk, your LIMS administrators can always contact your LabLynx project manager directly. Administrators can expect same-day or next-business-day response times.

LabLynx support services also include a break-glass emergency response process. You can submit an emergency request should a system-level event make your LIMS inaccessible or inoperable. This request triggers notifications to every LabLynx employee. You will receive a response within two hours.

Clients may request additional support services within their LabLynx service agreement. For example, they may ask us to contribute to their cybersecurity incident response plans. Employing a standard response to cyberattacks like shutting down compromised networks can rapidly cut access to the client’s networked resources, but not necessarily to its cloud-based LabLynx LIMS. Our support services team can help these clients prepare continuity processes that preserve LIMS access while the network is down.

Change control services

Most industries include change management in their laboratory best practices. Manufacturers, for example, will document changes in testing procedures to ensure the quality and consistency of their products.

We can help design LIMS features to support your lab’s change management process. Your LIMS will record modifications to processes, workflows, documentation, SOPs, inventory, employee qualifications, and more. Reporting tools will retrieve these change logs to expedite compliance audits.

LabLynx engineers can also document changes to your LIMS software. We will document any updates to the underlying codebase. We can also test and document changes to your LIMS customizations.

Healthcare testing labs may request change control services to support their compliance programs. The Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA) requires labs to document and report changes to their CLIA-certified testing practices. This includes adding new tests or altering test methodologies, as well as maintaining the qualifications of personnel performing the tests.

Even the slightest adjustment could compromise a CLIA certification. We can help clinical laboratories develop change management systems within their LIMS. For example, a LIMS configuration could prevent modifications of test methodologies without formal, documented approvals.

Learn how LabLynx services can enhance your LIMS experience

 With unparalleled configurability and customizability, the LabLynx ELab LIMS platform can accommodate the needs of any lab in any industry.

LabLynx services amplify the benefits of your LIMS. From choosing an appropriate cloud hosting service to supporting your compliance efforts, our services will elevate your lab’s performance.

Contact us today at [email protected] to learn more about how LabLynx services can serve your lab today and into the future.

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