With COVID-19 forcing many companies into undergoing a rapid and often premature digital transformation this can raise challenges for the business units.
In the laboratory it is almost impossible to perform all work remotely and we have seen multiple strategies such as rotating shifts to avoid infection and those who can work from home do so.
One of the main enabling factors is having the right laboratory informatics, LIMS, ELN and supporting infrastructure.
Here are 5 lab informatics enablers to help manage a lab remotely;
1. Browser based LIMS
This mean a LIMS which can be accessed via a web browser without having to download plugins making access as easy as possible.
It doesn’t necessarily mean a cloud hosted LIMS or SaaS solution, although that can definitely help.
Gaining access from your vendor or internal IT team is much easier this way without the hassle of downloading extra programs and adding weight to the network.
2. Digital signature capabilities – 21 CFR Part 11
21 CFR Part 11 defines the criteria under which electronic records and electronic signatures are considered trustworthy, reliable, and equivalent to paper records.
What this means is that once work is complete a lab manager or supervisor can review and approve samples remotely and the whole process is properly audited.
A flexible system can provide the same durability to other processes too.
An image of the signature should also be electronically applied to final reports.
3. Built in reporting and business intelligence
Your LIMS should be able to provide you with access to all the reports needed to continue daily operations as well as necessary management information. For example:
- Certificate of Analysis
- Statistics and productivity reporting
- Worksheet generation and monitoring
- Material re-ordering information
- Instrument maintenance schedules
- many more…
4. Online/easy access to support – understanding SLA’s
We can often get caught up in a system’s features and forget that a complete solution is made up of the system, people and processes.
Having access to an online support portal and knowledge base helps with the transition as you can still easily get help from your vendor(s).
Ensuring that your service level agreements (SLA) match your businesses working practice is important as when crisis strikes you know how quickly to expect a response. We’ll go into this in more detail in another blog post.
For more information about systems to help contact OnQ Software.