SULM – Schweizerische Union für Labormedizin | Union Suisse de Médecine de Laboratoire | Swiss Union of Laboratory Medicine

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J. Goehring1 , F. Godet2 , V. de Diego1

1Laboratoire MGD, Genève., 2Lysoft SA, Plan-les-Ouates Genève.

The currently available LIMS (laboratory information management systems) are essentially dedicated to turning out reports of the analytical results. We felt the need of complementing our LIMS with a parallel system to address other important aspects of laboratory management.

We developed a relational data-base system (4D) concerning
- techniques : analyses, methods, instruments, reagents
- personnel : education, competence, continued education, responsibilities
- quality system : documentation of a quality manual with links
- suppliers : products, ordering, stock-keeping
- general documentation : with links to the data-base

The communication capabilities of 4D allow data to be viewed on client computers or intranet, to be published by e-mail or on a web-site and exported or printed in any convenient format. Data from our LIMS can be imported and integrated.

The all-encompassing aspect of the data-base with numerous links between data and extensive sort capabilities make for easy access to relevant combinations of data, such as
- personnel allowed to work on specific instruments
- details of orders to a supplier
- cost structure for an instrument or for an analysis
- presentation of data exported from LIMS: analyses performed, income created
- and many more easily created data-mining like combinations.

The graphical presentation and various coloured tagging of displayed data further enhances the direct comprehension of trends, inconsistencies, warnings.

The system was developed over the past four years, with continuous feed-back from the basic users. It has been functionally operational over the past two years, which includes our accreditation according to ISO/CEI 17025 (see “Computer aided accreditation”).

The 4D data-base can be readily adjusted to needs, yet remains robust. A commercial system (Quallys) based on this development is available.


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