Making the Leap to a LIMS

by Aubree Hoover on August 29, 2013 in Genomics
Medical College of Wisconsin | Clarity LIMS

In our interactions with research and CLIA labs, we often hear that Microsoft Excel® is still the tool of choice for sample management and tracking. We understand why this is – it works okay, researching and implementing a new solution is perceived to be expensive and time-consuming, and once something is implemented, people won’t want to use it. We get it.  However, because we do have the opportunity to converse with many labs, we know firsthand that it doesn’t have to be this way. Making the leap to LIMS can be straightforward, beneficial, and even enjoyable.

The Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) was in the same boat as many other labs we speak to. They were using Excel quite effectively for sample management and tracking in their lab. However, this highly productive lab, who runs both CLIA diagnostic and research samples, soon realized that it was spending entirely  too much time copying and pasting lot numbers into Excel, a time-consuming and error-prone process. The tipping point became when each time a sample needed to be processed, they had to fill out anywhere between 6 and 16 forms for the sample!  Excel is a great tool, but it couldn’t pass muster for the massive amount of paperwork required.

Jaime Wendt, Molecular Genetics Technical Specialist and the Sequencing Core Diagnostic Manager, Medical College of Wisconsin

Jaime Wendt, Molecular Genetics Technical Specialist and the Sequencing Core Diagnostic Manager, Medical College of Wisconsin, using BaseSpace Clarity LIMS

So recently, they made the decision to move to a LIMS.  After researching several vendors, they purchased BaseSpace Clarity LIMS, implemented it in an 8-10 week timeframe, and are now reaping many benefits from the implementation, such as impeccable sample tracking, time savings, and fewer errors.

Much can be learned from labs, such as MCW, who have already made the leap. For instance, how did they decide which vendor to choose? Once they chose a vendor, how did they manage the implementation? How long should you expect the implementation to take? How did they get people to use the system?

For MCW, although the implementation was straightforward, one surprise was the resistance on the part of lab staff to use the LIMS, which was quickly alleviated after several sequencing runs, when staff realized how much easier using the LIMS was than slogging along with Excel spreadsheets. What else did they learn?

Find out by accessing the Illumina Webinar. Recently, Illumina hosted this Webinar and invited Jaime Wendt, Molecular Genetics Technical Specialist and the Sequencing Core Diagnostic Manager from MCW to talk about their experience upgrading to BaseSpace Clarity LIMS.

Missed the Webinar? Listen to Jamie Wendt from MCW as she talks about their experience with BaseSpace Clarity LIMS over at the Medical College of Wisconsin

Watch the FREE Webinar »

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