Glossary Definition: Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS)

What is a laboratory information management system?

A laboratory information management system, also known as LIMS, is a software solution that supports modern lab operations by automating manual processes such as data capture, tracking, and maintenance. As a result, life science professionals gain access to error-free information, available in real time. This software allows users to manage samples more effectively, analyze and act on relevant data, and streamline workflows.

What’s more, most laboratory management systems integrate with other cutting-edge technologies, such as manufacturing execution systems (MES) and laboratory execution systems (LES). This one-stop-shop style solution allows users to access all of the necessary data that impacts research and manufacturing production in a single place. This is especially valuable for national and international pharma companies that maintain various sites around the world.

What are laboratory information management systems used for?

LIMS software connects samples with data so that users can better manage the flow of information, stay organized, accelerate research and development, and store all the manufacturing sample data that’s required to release a batch. Its core function is to improve efficiency, quality control, and accuracy by automating and optimizing data input and processes.

LIMS systems offer users quality-managed data available for real-time contextualization and consumption, which facilitates proper tracking and monitoring throughout the production process. In so doing, they enable pharma companies and life science professionals to make timely, informed decisions throughout every stage of drug development.

What are other names for LIMS?

Laboratory information management systems are sometimes referred to as:

  • LIMS software
  • Laboratory information system (LIS)
  • Laboratory management system (LMS)

Although these terms are often used interchangeably, it’s important to note that there is a difference between LIS software and LIMS software. LIS software offers users control over day-to-day processing, whereas LIMS aids in research and development and batch testing. As such, LIS is better suited to patient-centric applications such as hospitals and other healthcare providers.

Both software systems have overlapping features, including real-time data accessibility, integrations, and workflow optimizations.

What are LIMS in pharma?

For pharma, a laboratory information management system helps streamline research and development activities. LIMS also facilitates batch release of the drug product, drug substance, or API that relies on this layer of data-driven support for Quality Control (QC).

LIMS software achieves this by offering capabilities such as:

  • Comprehensive data capture
  • Real time accessibility to relevant data
  • Integrations with LES and MES systems
  • Customizable workflows
  • Sample management and tracking
  • Improved reporting and analysis

Why are LIMS important for pharma?

Laboratory information management systems are important for pharma because these solutions allow companies to be more efficient, accurate, and compliant during lab tests. LIMS systems are crucial when it comes to batch testing because the data associated with drug research, development and production is complex, detailed, and extensive.

LIMS helps pharma professionals to turn the drudgery of manual data capture and transcription into automated and contextualized workflows, freeing up resources for the tasks that can’t be automated.

The bottom line: LIMS systems are crucial to pharma manufacturing. These solutions not only optimize research and development but, more importantly, they can automate time-consuming tasks that are prone to human error (such as data capture and transcription). With accurate data tracked, monitored, captured in real time and easily contextualized, the drug production lifecycle is accelerated with confidence in quality — saving organizations time, money, and other resources.