by Ashley Carter


Data entry can be both time consuming and potentially problematic for laboratories. Typos and entering the wrong data can result in sending the wrong or failing material to your customer. A LIMS system can help reduce these risks while making the process much faster utilizing automatic data entry as well as helpful grids. In this article we’ll go over the most common methods for populating test data into a LIMS.

Instrument Interfacing

Does this sound familiar?

  1. Enter data about the test into the equipment.
  2. Run the test.
  3. Print the results.
  4. Walk to a computer
  5. Search for and load the test ran.
  6. Type in each result.
  7. Repeat for every test.
LIMS computer interfacing with laboratory instrument

Maybe data entry happens for a stack of results at once, but how often do the results end up on the wrong test? Or the result numbers get flipped? Or the decimal place ends up in the wrong spot? Instrument interfacing can reduce this process to:

  1. Pull data from LIMS to equipment.
  2. Run the test.

Instrument interfacing can automatically send data about the test (sample ID, measured pre-test dimensions, test temperature, etc.) to the equipment, and then send the results of a completed test to LIMS and populate the results into the correct sample; thus eliminating typos and the risk of entering results into the wrong samples.

Data Entry in LIMS through Grids

However fantastic automatic import of results from instrument interfacing is, inevitably, there are tests that can’t be configured to set up to interface directly to a LIMS, and the data will need to be entered manually. For these situations, making the process as seamless as possible helps to reduce those data entry errors. Some LIMS providers, such as Wavefront, provide grids so a user can load the tests they are working on and enter them on one page, reducing clicking around the system and saving time.

Methods of Review

As mentioned above, manual data entry may be inevitable for a lot of laboratories. So the next step in reducing errors is making sure there are robust review steps in place to ensure the data is as accurate as can be.

User reviewing data in LIMS

This may be an area where some LIMS providers stand apart. Wavefront LIMS has worked hard to develop configurable automation methods, live SPC analyses, assignment of warning limits, all in an effort to ensure that the processes within the laboratory operate as accurately and efficiently as possible. For more information about these, and more, features Wavefront LIMS offers, Schedule a Demo today!


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