Benefits and Challenges to Consider Before Starting with an Automation Software

If you’re looking to deliver high-quality results more cost-effectively and efficiently, laboratory automation software is the way to go. Laboratories are all-encompassing environments stocked with complex equipment and other moving parts, demanding repeated replication, application, and accuracy regarding research data. Things such as automation scheduling software ease the burden of the repetitive tasks that accompany lab work, reducing human interference while giving scientists more command over their materials and ensure experiments take place in a timelier fashion.

With this radical change in how laboratories conduct their processes, there are pros and cons to consider before implementing this software.

The Benefits

Less Human Error

Automation software was first introduced to reduce human error, sharpening focus and allowing scientists to conduct experiments without having to record machine outputs yourself at all times. Such software transfers output data from machines to a lab notebook, reducing the number of errors that occur when lab technicians do it.  It makes doing experiments more proficient and less taxing.

Faster Processing

Specimens can be prepared for tests in a more time-efficient manner, allowing for more biochemical tests to be performed while technologies from molecular diagnostics, liquid chromatography, and more can be conducted without intervention.

Automation scheduling software promotes better time management with equipment management, allowing for more daily testing.

Better Data Generation

Using automation software allows you to tap into and harness more types of data; not just experimental data but data about usability. Automation allows you to access the data and transfer it online, using it to better figure out how to make better decisions regarding machine conditions and placement. Lab scheduling software makes equipment management a more fluid process.

More Consultation Time

Less manual labor leaves lab professionals with more time and flexibility to reason with their colleagues on how lab tests work, guiding them through such testing and ignoring more unnecessary stuff. More assistance can be offered to healthcare professionals regarding their patients, allowing them to make better adjustments when treating them.

The Challenges

Troubleshooting

Even if you understand the functionality of automation scheduling software, which includes test order tracking, maintaining patient results, and quality control, some subtle errors triggered within a complex system can lead to all sorts of problems. Tracking and monitoring of systems are paramount to nipping issues in the bud from the start, requiring strong communication among staff and healthcare professionals.

Test Mix Changes

Automation software may convince you to bring some tests in-house, ending or outsourcing other tests. However, these new tests require supply changes and create new workflows, triggering potential staff challenges (new hours, responsibilities) and confusion, especially early on.

Institutional Knowledge is Affected

As old technology is shifted out the door, some skills and knowledge go out with it. Medical care is a long-term process, understanding why things were done a certain way previously to better understand new information regarding a patient’s test. Axing older testing techniques makes it harder to keep that level of knowledge accessible.

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