Planning for Disruptions in Laboratory Operations

Most know that the COVID-19 pandemic turned a solid chunk of the workforce—and their work itself—on its heels. More than two years later, this change has both positively and negatively affected many a workplace, including the laboratory. In this March 2022 work by laboratory veteran Joe Liscouski, the impact of disruptions like COVID-19, flooding, and power failure to laboratories is discussed, particularly within the scope of implementing automation to better limit those disruptions. However, as Liscouski notes, it’s not as simple as “let’s implement laboratory automation”; many nuances to its implementation and use exist within the context of laboratory work. The author first discusses the nature of work itself, followed by a brief look at laboratory work. He then examines eight talking points about using automation to prevent disruptions in on-site laboratory activities, as well as a few critical points about the laboratory work that can be done remotely. He finishes by discussing other external disruptions to laboratory work, including meteorological issues, natural disasters, power disruptions, and supply chain issues. Liscouski concludes that while laboratory automation is here to stay by improving workflows and limiting disruptions, we must implement it with care and deliberate planning in order to make the most of it.

Please to read the entire article.