The management of veterinary pathology laboratories presents a number of quite unique challenges. While there are some core similarities with other types of labs — the need to track and manage both samples and associated documentation, for example — there are other factors that most other lab environments will never need to consider.
Similar in some ways to human medical research labs and human tissue “biobanking” facilities, veterinary pathology laboratories frequently have to handle not just the biological samples themselves, but also manage and cross-reference sample data relating to the source animal, the owner’s details, veterinary case history, details of the vet’s practice, the tests required etc.
Throw in industry regulation that in some cases can be almost as stringent as human medical practice, and you’re left with administration and information management requirements that are often far from straightforward. This is where laboratory information management systems (LIMS) enter the equation.
LIMS are software packages that take the pain out of managing laboratory samples and their associated data. A good LIMS system will make it easy to track sample progress from receipt through analysis and testing to reporting and sample disposal. The best LIMS packages, however, go far beyond this with functionality that lets you improve workflow and cost efficiency.
There are many examples of off-the-shelf LIMS software, but many of these aren’t best suited to the unique needs of a veterinary pathology lab environment. One piece of software that does meet the needs of this demanding application is the Matrix Gemini system from Berkshire-based LIMS specialists Autoscribe.
Matrix Gemini Veterinary Laboratory LIMS is highly configurable, and was developed specifically for the vet laboratory business based on discussions with existing customers about the particular requirements of this work environment. Providing not just laboratory management, but also business management solutions, Matrix Gemini offers an unparalleled range of features including analyser interfacing for fast capture of results (also eliminating transcription errors) and management reporting of key performance indicators.
When looking for a laboratory management software solution, it’s important to consider the available features and, where possible, choose a package like Matrix Gemini that will help you not only run your laboratory, but improve your business.