Virtually every phase of laboratory operations at SGS Accutest centers on our LIMS. The following is a brief description of the major functions:
Sample receipt/Sample login
From the minute samples are received at SGS Accutest, our LIMS is used to assign a job and generate the bottle labels for all samples. Sample login completes the information by logging in all critical sample information, including the tests to be performed. Sample login is capable of capturing all information, including very lengthy client sample identifiers.
Our LIMS is used to handle all sample scheduling and prioritization. This assures that all samples, including emergency and rush samples, receive the appropriate attention by all areas of the lab. This includes such important issues as turnaround and hold times.
All analytical data collected from automated instruments is sent to LIMS electronically, not entered by hand. This avoids the inevitable transcription errors that can result from hand entering large amounts of data. This includes all organics, metals and even certain general chemistry tests. The only data entered by hand are tests that are completely manual and do not lend themselves to this type of automation.
Data processing/data approval
All data (regardless of how they enter the system) follow a tightly controlled “assembly line” of calculations, automated checks and approval steps. Both analyst and supervisor must review the data. Note that the system is not designed to replace the chemist; it simply does all it can to make their job simpler and more streamlined, ensuring a more detailed review process.
QC data processing
All applicable quality control data (spikes, duplicates, blanks, etc.) are entered and processed exactly like live samples, but with the addition of QC calculations and automatic QC limit checking against predefined limits. This QC data is automatically “linked” to all applicable samples. This critical link allows SGS Accutest to include complete QC data in automated reports, electronic deliverables and online date services.
In producing the final hard-copy report, all sample summaries, result pages and QC summaries are produced directly from LIMS. Only backup data (chromatograms and other forms of raw data) are collected separately.
The comprehensive LIMS database allows SGS Accutest to produce custom electronic deliverables for our clients directly from LIMS. These include “database” format files (suitable for import into a client database such as Equis, GIS/Key, Custom, etc.) and spreadsheet formats that may be delivered in ACSII format or pre-loaded into Excel, Lotus or other spreadsheet formats. Electronic deliverables may be sent to the client electronically either via email or through SGS Accutest’s LabLinkSM online data service.
Our LIMS is also responsible for storing all client quote and billing information. This includes all contract pricing, discounts, turnaround surcharges and even special client billing requirements. This assures accurate billing based on quotes and contracts.