Information tracking is critical for any lab that conducts testing on human clinical samples. This not only helps the lab efficiently manage sample flow and avoid delays in reporting, it is mandatory requirement from regulatory agencies to maintain audit trails. In this Covid-19 era where there is a huge demand for testing, many research labs are starting to test patient samples as per ICMR guidelines.
While excel based trackers work well at low sample volumes, such systems tend to be unstable when the data volume increases and sees large human error. This could lead to loss of critical data as well as erroneous reporting. Another critical requirement is the generation of reports and lab metrics to catch the trends and deviations in the test performance over time. Multiple entries of same data for generation of various reports is not only sub-optimal use of manpower, it could also lead to transcriptional errors. A system that can extract data from a verified source to generate reports would help improve efficiency and accuracy of reports. A commercially available lab Information Management System (LIMS) would be a good solution, except that these are highly expensive and would take time and lot of effort to customise.
In line with the ICMR requirements, G-KnowMe has developed a customised COVID-19 lab LIMS system based on “Open source” tools that is both cost effective and addresses both the sample tracking and reporting requirements for these labs. The system provides role based access to data to maintain patient confidentiality and HIPAA compliance.
In the current Covid-19 scenario, G-KnowMe has worked closely with the Indian Institute of Science BSL3 lab for helping set up their workflow for Covid-19 testing.
Details of installation and configuration for this system are described here.