2020 Insights from Lab Informatics Professionals

Lab Informatics Insights 2020

It’s typical for a service provider to stay up-to-date with industry happenings and to continually learn about their potential clients’ ever-changing needs. There are programs and measures in place to calculate and monitor these needs. At CSols, we developed a set of polls and quizzes to identify industry trends and collect feedback from those with whom our lab informatics services can help.  The respondents were contacts across various industries, and at different stages in their lab informatics project.

The results revealed insights on digital transformations, where the lab informatics field is going, how our clients have weathered the pandemic, validation roadblocks, and filling skilled roles are now being shared with you, in this infographic rundown. Whether you’re new to lab informatics, or you’ve had a solution for a while, we hope you’ll find the information useful, as a gauge for how your lab stacks up against those of your peers. Below the infographic, you’ll find further details.

Digital Transformation Digital Transformation Computer System Validation challenges Computer System Validation challenges get the most value from your investment get the most value from your investment take your laboratory informatics project from good to great

What Do These Insights Mean for You?

First and foremost, it’s important to recognize how well laboratory professionals as a whole have responded to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. At the beginning of this year, it would have been hard to imagine the scale of the disruptions we have all faced. It would have been even harder to imagine a novel vaccine would be in mass distribution by the end of the year. Many of us have adapted with flexibility and grace to the conditions we have all faced. Yay, us. So what can you take away from the insights shared from the polls and quizzes?

How Digitally Capable Is Your Lab?

Our digital capabilities quiz asked about the current digital state of respondents’ labs and whether they felt their labs were prepared for specific aspects of digital transformation. It’s clear that digital transformation work will be ongoing for the foreseeable future. A majority of respondents felt that they were not taking full advantage of their lab informatics solution, couldn’t easily provide digital copies of data to investigators, and were not able to easily store, collect, and share data.

If you can relate to the results above, now you know you’re not alone. It’s obvious that many labs are struggling to meet physical distancing requirements and be less reliant on manual processes. To learn more about making a change, check out our resources to improve your data integrity or enact a digital transformation.

Common Computer System Validation Roadblocks

It’s critical to do computer systems validation (CSV) right when adding a new element or upgrading existing elements in a lab informatics solution. Yet, we learned from the poll that the time, resources, and understanding required for validation are each equally a struggle. When you add the component of conducting CSV remotely, the probability of success decreases. This is especially troublesome for regulated environments because incomplete or incorrect validation requirements can lead to a failed audit by a regulatory agency. Respondents to our validation polls clearly indicate that there are challenges and our recommendation for getting it right during a pandemic is to seek help from consultants who already have a remote validation plan.

What Makes a LIMS Successful?

Saying you successfully implemented a LIMS shouldn’t just mean you went live with the system. It should also mean that the LIMS was built so that it can grow with your company and that features and enhancements were configured to get the most value from your investment. We asked contacts who had recently completed a LIMS implementation to evaluate these two measures of true success.

A majority (80%) of respondents indicated they are using more than half of the available LIMS features. That means they are maximizing the business value of the lab informatics system.  The remaining 20% needed to identify areas for improvement like adding modules, interfacing instruments, or setting up data visualization tools.

Interestingly, although a majority of respondents were confident that their lab informatics solution would meet their needs for the next two years, an overwhelming majority in the digital capabilities poll felt that their technology is not cutting edge compared to their industry peers.

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The Value of Project Leadership

The poll identified the most important skills and duties required for a successful LIMS implementation that are embodied in the project leadership role. Although some may be thought of as more important than others, they are ALL needed.

If you don’t have someone on your LIMS Implementation team who possesses all the skills mentioned and can be responsible for all the tasks, reach out to us.

Does the information gathered here match your experiences? Do you have additional insights to share? Comment below and let us know.

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