It would be easy to think that all municipal water labs perform the same basic tasks - after all, they’re all testing wastewater and drinking water samples, right? Well, it is certainly true that they are all testing those types of samples, but the variability between labs is actually very striking. Depending on the state, province, country, etc. there are varying rules that municipal water systems must meet in order to meet local and/or national regulatory requirements. These varying requirements are very important when it comes to choosing and installing a LIMS for the lab because they help guide the laboratory workflow, quality control processes and final reporting.
Therefore it is important to have flexibility in being able to set up the workflow in the LIMS to meet the specific regulatory requirements. One of the biggest criticisms we hear from LIMS users is that they have been forced to organize their laboratory workflow to work around a standard workflow template in the LIMS, whereas what they really need and want is to be able to set the LIMS to mimic their preferred workflow – and even more importantly, to be able to adapt the LIMS if things change in the future, say for example if a new design is required or a new workflow is introduced.
Fortunately, help is at hand in the shape of the Matrix Gemini LIMS with its ‘configuration tools’ approach. This allows it to be configured to meet your lab’s specific needs and at the same time contains many unique features to provide advanced software solutions for municipal water labs. Typical areas of interest for water labs lie around sample login, sample scheduling, quality control, control charting, quotes/invoicing, remote sample login/management/reporting and inventory management.
Flexibility in sample login provides complete control as to the terminology and the fields that are used. These might include sample identifiers such as sampling location, sample matrix, collection date, collection time, collected by, adverse sampling conditions, GPS coordinates, client ID, etc.It is also possible to create templates for regular sample collections, such as effluent samples typically collected on Monday from a particular plant.Not only that, the LIMS allows automatic scheduling of samples. So in this case the system could be configured to register the ‘Monday Plant A Effluent samples’ at 3.00 AM every Monday. Other uses of scheduling might be to pre-register multiple samples and schedule the samples for collection. Remote users, such as collectors in the field, might want to use a web-based interface to interact with the LIMS.So a field collector using a tablet, for example, could login to Matrix via a web browser and see a list of samples to be collected that day, and the sampling location.At that point the user may want to mark the sample as collected, enter field results, reschedule the sample, add extra testing, and more.
If you’d like to find out more about sample log-in flexibility and all of the other functionality that Matrix Gemini has on offer for water labs, we have produced a useful downloadable guide: Matrix Gemini LIMS for Environmental Labs.