Laboratory information management system for the biosafety laboratory: Safety and efficiency

There are numerous laboratory information management systems (LIMS) on the market, but in reality, how many are finely tuned to handle the safety requirements of a biosafety laboratory? At least from the standpoint of Sun et al. of the Institute of Microbiology Chinese Academy of Sciences, few if any meet those needs. As such, the authors, in this 2021 paper published in the Journal of Biosafety and Biosecurity, commence with laying out the unique add-on requirements a standard LIMS would require in order to meet the needs of most biosafety lab. Noting in their introduction “a strange situation, one where biosafety information itself is highly digitalized, yet there is no centralized system designed to better organize that electronic information and enable laboratorians to use it appropriately,” the authors then describe what is required to remedy that situation. They note that biosafety and efficiency are tied to four information management aspects of the biosafety lab: project management, personnel administration, experimental material management, and equipment management. The authors then discuss how these areas of management would need to be fortified in a modern LIMS, as well as addressing other areas such as balancing flexibility and complexity and addressing data security.

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