Sample log-in, work list generation, data entry, and report production are data-handling functions common to most Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS's). A newly developed automated review system now extends those functions to include the use of a LIMS for reviewing and evaluating quality control (QC) results. This paper delineates the four major stages involved in creating this automated review system: concept, preliminary design, programming, and testing. Although computer programming is typically system-dependent, the logic employed in QC review should have broad application to many LIMS's.
The paper also describes the daily operation of this new LIMS function on-line in three networked commercial laboratories with over 140 employees. This account of the review system's pitfalls, successes, and maintenance requirements can help other LIMS users achieve a smooth, reliable installation.