Tips for Managing a Productive Lab
It takes work to run a lab smoothly and productively. Whether you have important deadlines looming or are dealing with multiple samples, following the practical tips provided by our experts on dermatopathology in Pittsburgh, PA, will help you efficiently manage your lab.
Closely track lab inventory.
Lab inventory covers reagents and specimens that your lab requires for experimentation or diagnostic analysis. Utilizing a tool that allows barcodes for identifying, tracking, and categorizing samples is an easy way to track your inventory. However, regardless of how you track inventory, the labels you use for boxes, tubes, racks, and vials must be suitable for the lab atmosphere you will use them. For example, cryogenic labels can be convenient for freezer-stored reagents, specimens, or cell lines that require liquid nitrogen storage.
Sustainment is critical
Lab infrastructure maintenance is essential to ensure the durability of samples and reagents. For example, freezers and refrigerators must be sustained at their ideal temperatures, CO2 /O2 in incubators must be controlled carefully, and you should replenish liquid nitrogen stocks or other lab supplies regularly.
Storage equipment control systems that offer real-time updates and notifications while keeping detailed logs and reports of all related parameter activity can automate this process with little human intervention and ensure that nothing gets missed. In addition, these systems work with cloud-based frameworks and can integrate your reports in a single place, allowing for notification of lab personnel when things go wrong.
Workflow management practices will allow you to track inventory, sample traceability, improve the productivity of your personnel, and more. Laboratory information management system integration is a great way to do this. It will take note of sample movement during your testing processes, monitor the custody chain, and allow users to schedule analysis, downstream processing, and testing efficiently. Using bar-coded labels to get the most out of your laboratory information management system is crucial, as it will aid in sample tracking and traceability.
Coordination and communication are also essential when incorporating a system to optimize your workflow. You can control and create any lab information management system you want and keep proper records of your lab activities with the assistance of laboratory information management systems and well-annotated lab books used in regular lab meetings.
Focus on the system, not the people.
Errors are bound to occur no matter how organized your laboratory is. Openly discussing and designing barriers to mistakes can lower the probability of reoccurring. Introducing multiple verifications and
checkpoints will help you reduce the likelihood of numerous mistakes causing consequences you do not anticipate. You can prevent critical errors by maintaining your lab infrastructure, managing inventory well, and coordinating lab workflow. Managing lab book data will help you avoid mistakes because you can verify each experiment or test through comprehensive documentation, even when lab users are no longer at your facility.
Effective communication is critical regardless of the laboratory area you are working in. Lab members can easily forget to collaborate because they constantly work on various projects and techniques. Having lab meetings is the best way to solve issues. Scheduling them early in the week helps everyone know their tasks and how they should complete them. In addition, it can be helpful to have relationships with lab members inside and outside the lab to ensure proper communication.