Nowadays, many laboratories are struggling to establish seamless and effective communication with their customers. Ensuring customer satisfaction is of paramount importance for all laboratories. Several LIMS vendors have come up with a client portal to easily share information between a laboratory and its clients through a web browser. Laboratories receive both internal and external requests for various services through channels, such as phone, fax, mail, or email. Clients face issues in tracking the status of their requests and viewing the latest test results and reports. Laboratories cannot provide their customers direct access to their LIMS because it may jeopardize data security and is a gross violation of GxP guidelines. It has been a challenge for laboratories to keep their clients happy while maintaining GxP regulations. A LIMS client portal enables laboratories to securely exchange data with external clients, researchers, physicians, and third-party partners. Many B2B environments are also leveraging the benefits of a LIMS client portal to increase customer engagement without compromising data security.
What is a LIMS Client Portal?
A LIMS client portal allows customers to seamlessly place service requests with laboratories. It also enables customers to track the progress of their requests without the need to contact laboratory staff. With a LIMS client portal, laboratories can eliminate the need for investing resources and personnel for handling customer requests. Automated handling of customer requests also reduces the scope of manual errors. A LIMS client portal is secure as it provides a unique log-in for each customer to access their data.
A LIMS client portal enables laboratory customers to place requests for sample purchases, kits, sample storage, and tests. Through its self-service facility, customers can easily access all requests submitted by them. Some common types of requests submitted by customers for testing, samples, or storage are as follows:
Test Requests: In this type of request, a client supplies samples to a laboratory for analysis. If the samples are already stored in the storage facility, the laboratory analyzes them and reports results to the client.
Collection Requests: A client requests a laboratory to collect one or more samples for analysis.
Kit Requests: In this type of request, clients request testing kits such as tubes, reagents, and containers from laboratories.
Sample Storage Request: A client, for example, a researcher, requests a biobank to store samples for a certain period and notifies the biobank of the optimal storage conditions.
Sample Purchase Request: A client places an order for the samples of interest with a biobank, for example, a commercial biobank.
Benefits of a LIMS Client Portal
Customers can access requisite information related to their service requests in real-time.
Customers can instantly view and download test reports and invoices as soon as they are released by the laboratory.
Customers can track shipments.
The data shared is encrypted for enhanced security.
The portal helps eliminate manual transcription errors and other inefficiencies.
The portal is functional on devices such as computers, tablets, smartphones, or any internet-ready device if the portal is cloud-based.
Customers can navigate easily and efficiently through the portal dashboard without training.
Laboratories can better engage with their customers, improve communication thereby enhancing customer service.
Traditionally, customers used to request services from laboratories through a variety of channels such as phone, fax, or email, thus creating possibilities of manual errors. The return of requested data or results to clients was also a slow process, leading to delays in closing the requests. This also resulted in disturbing the customers’ trust in laboratories. A LIMS client portal has provided customers with the privilege to easily place their requests through a digitally secure portal. External users are not allowed to have direct interaction with a LIMS which safeguards the security of laboratory data. Customers can enter their requests directly into the portal and the portal, in turn, sends the request to the LIMS, eliminating manual transcription errors. The results and reports are stored at a centralized location for easy access and retrieval. A LIMS client portal establishes transparent and smooth communication between clients and laboratories, thus simplifying the collaboration system.