RE: LIMS for Research Facilities

From:"Morken, Tim"

Teri, just to give you an idea of what is possible with a "home-made"

We use a database we developed in-house using Microsoft Access. We use it on
a LAN with about 20 users. With this system we enter patient or animal
details (we are an independent lab, so we don't interface with an LIS)
accession specimens , keep block logs, enter test requests, enter test
details in an "experiment" log (specials, IHC, ISH, PCR), enter test
results, keep antibody logs, and automatically collate all info and results
into a final report. It also includes an integrated image database that will
soon be linked to a DVD-ROM jukebox (200 DVD's). It does not handle gross
description (we don't do that).

It is a very extensive database with over 150 tables and a user interface
with over 100 screens, so it is not at all simple. It took about 18 months
and 30 percent of one techs time to build but it did not require very much
programming. To give you an idea of the capabilities we have with this
home-grown system, the people from CoPath were very impressed and wondered
how we implemented some of the features.

The best thing about it (besides the relatively low cost) is that it can be
modified on a whim and features can be added in minutes - rather than
waiting years for a vendor to give you what you want. For instance, during
the recent anthrax BT event we needed to add the capability to enter and
correlate a whole range of new identifying numbers for samples from the
bioterrorism group and show those numbers on all our reports as well as make
up several new reports. That took about two hours of work.

All you need to do this is 1) a tech that wants to do it, 2) a LAN and
3)Managers that will let you.

Tim Morken
CDC, Atlanta

-----Original Message-----
From: Johnson, Teri []
Sent: Thursday, December 20, 2001 9:34 AM
To: Histonet (E-mail)
Subject: LIMS for Research Facilities

Hi all!

I need to query the research folks again regarding what they are currently
using to track specimens in their labs.  We recently saw a presentation of
SQL*LIMS (laboratory information management system) and I personally like
what I saw.  It's expensive, and we're looking to see what else is available
and what others are using.

I suspect many are using a manual system, but if others are using something
else, even if it's a "homemade" database, I'm interested in learning what
works in your facility.

Thank you as always!

Teri Johnson
Manager Histology Core Facility
Stowers Institute for Medical Research
1000 E. 50th St.
Kansas City, Missouri  64110

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