lab worker adds specimen vial to centrifuge

Specimen Management: 3 Areas Where Software Can Help

Proper specimen management is an essential aspect of efficient laboratory management. How biological specimens are managed can have a direct impact on the accuracy of data, efficiency lab operations and the speed of the larger research initiatives. In this blog post, we will discuss threee key considerations for successful specimen management and how specimen management software can hep. These areas include specimen tracking, storage management and regulatory compliance. By understanding these key areas of specimen management, you can pick the software that best fits the unique needs of your lab. 

Specimen management software can have an impact on:

Specimen Tracking

Effective specimen tracking is essential for maintaining a successful laboratory management system. Specimens can be tracked using a variety of tools- from spreadsheets to purpose-built specimen managemen software that helps standardize and simplify specimen tracking. Software helps ensure that all of the critical data associated with the specimen is captured and organized. Additionally, as aliquots are created from specimens and the complexity of your specimen inventory increases, specimen management software can keep track of the lineage relationships between specimens. Software improves the accuracy of specimen tracking and provide real-time visibility of specimen locations, allowing lab staff to quickly locate specimens for further analysis or disposal.

Specimen Storage

Proper specimen storage is critical to the integrity of the specimen and the accuracy of the data obtained. Different types of specimens require specific storage conditions, such as temperature or storage media.  Lab staff should be trained on how to handle and store specimens according to the appropriate guidelines. Specimen management software can help standardize freezer management processes and capture all actions taken on specimens in an auditable log. Additionally, the software can help ensure unique IDs for each specimen, define naming conventions and provide barcoding functionality. Proper management of specimen storage is important to ensure that they can be quickly located, and their integrity maintained.

Regulatory Compliance for Specimens

Managing biological specimens can be complex and challenging due to regulatory compliance requirements. Labs must comply with a variety of regulations including those set by the FDA and NIH. Sample management software can help labs comply with these regulations by controlling the access/visibility of sensitive data and capturing the actions performed in the system in audit logs. 

LabKey Sample Manager – Specimen Management Software

LabKey Sample Manager streamlines specimen management, tracking, storage, quality control, and regulatory compliance. The software is easy-to-use, requires minimal IT support and has the flexibility to adapt to the unique requirements of any scientific laboratory. Sample Manager was developed in collaboration with scientists to ensure its features are intuitive and meet the most demanding specimen management requirements.

With Sample Manager you can:

  • Manage the receipt, storage and shipment of specimens
  • Define samples types and sources with unique metadata
  • Document experiments in an integrated Electronic Lab Notebook
  • Use workflows to standardize lab procedures and data capture
  • Unify specimens with their related experiment data
  • Capture an audit-ready log of actions performed on each specimen
  • Comply with HIPAA and CFR Part 11

Click Here to learn more about LabKey Sample Manager.