A laboratory information system is used to provide a full featured framework for the management of processes, workflow and tracking samples and other materials in the laboratory and/or other environments.
Laboratory information systems are used to provide functions which include tracking and inventory of instruments, samples and consumables, handling reporting and invoicing and a variety of other routine elements of workflow in the laboratory or production process.
Information management systems are often used in large scale production environments, where the capabilities of these systems provide a way to facilitate efficient and accountable production processes.
While they are something more strongly associated with the laboratory, a laboratory information system is generally more than flexible enough to be adapted to a variety of different applications where large volumes of material or data need to be managed in a way which is more efficient than older methods such as paper record keeping systems.
Companies engaged in the manufacture and development of petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, organizations which carry out water and other environmental analysis applications, the nuclear energy sector and many others use laboratory information systems to streamline their processes and more accurately track results, data and methods across their operations.
In the laboratory, of course, these systems are often used as part of an integrated solution which incorporates both instruments and software. Of course, this is not a use restricted to the laboratory, as these systems are often made part of production processes as well in conjunction with mechanisms on the production floor.
Another of the advantages of a laboratory information system is its high degree of scalability; they can be used in environments ranging from single workstations to multinational operations which have many different facilities located in different cities or even on different continents. This permits businesses and research institutes to enjoy all of the benefits that laboratory information systems provide companywide, improving throughput, streamlining workflow and increasing accuracy in laboratory and production environments by eliminating human error from the equation - a common problem when using non-computerized record keeping and project management methods.
Regulatory compliance is another area where a computerized information management system can make all the difference in industrial scale production or in the research laboratory. Obviously, this is an important issue for a wide range of industries and for many applications, remaining in full compliance with applicable standards and regulations is vital. Since a laboratory information system is designed to increase accountability and traceability in records management, these laboratory information systems can significantly improve auditing procedures and simplify the work of personnel entrusted with assuring regulatory compliance.
Already in use in one form or another in many thousands of laboratories and manufacturing facilities worldwide, the use of these computerized information management systems is on the rise. Since the modern laboratory or production environment demands ever higher efficiency and higher throughputs, these systems provide an effective means of managing, storing, retrieval and management of the large volumes of data produced. Many of these systems have enough versatility to adapt to nearly any use, making the laboratory information system something certain to become an increasingly important part of a growing variety of workplaces.
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