The Convenience of a Paperless Laboratory

PaperlessMany scientists still keep their experimental records on paper, and sometimes in Excel and Word files stored in different computers and folders. In most cases, this leads to time-consuming tasks — or worse, information loss.

If you want to save yourself from the headache, go paperless.

The Inconvenience of Paper

Paper is easy to use, convenient, portable, and does not require user training, but it also introduces security risks. It is not as easily searchable and collaborative, and it introduces major storage issues. Most importantly, it is prone to errors, particularly transcription mistakes, since handling paper is a manual activity. If anything, stress — or math — is involved as well.

In addition, today’s laboratories are overwhelmed by demands of improved efficiency, productivity, data quality, immediate access to data, and tighter cost control. Laboratories use sophisticated instruments and experimentation as well, which require the day-to-day management of a large volume of analytical information. Labworks.com agrees that the traditional management system simply cannot address these demands.

The Convenience of Going Paperless

Now imagine a world where you can simply annotate your experiment with a mobile device and simultaneously keep records with the use of laboratory information management systems (LIMS). Imagine having samples and instruments labeled with barcodes, allowing you to stock and de-stock digitally.

Imagine quickly finding information about a sample or a box, and knowing exactly where everything is. You get to capture experimental details easily and efficiently. You can manipulate data fast and efficiently, and enjoy speedy electronic data entry in real time to automated data acquisition.

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Paper is expensive; with LIMS, you can reduce costs, as you do the same tasks using fewer resources (or do more using the same resources). And not only can such seamless, automated environment improve your work and reduce costs; it also frees up staff members and allows them to spend more time on research or product development functions that would bring revenue to the business.

With that, it seems eliminating the use of paper and going for automated systems simply contributes to a more open, more collaborative, more secure — and more efficient, cost-effective lab.