Finally Meeting My Laboratory Informatics Neighbor

Finally, I’ve seen the short tour of my laboratory informatics neighbor, which I mentioned I was going to do as of my last blog post:

Today’s tour was the short tour at approximately twenty minutes. It began with a video (where I saw people writing down what looked like laboratory results on sheets of paper…sigh…) and about a 12″ pipe clogged full of some deposit (taking me on a fond trip down memory lane of my time working with the Deposit lab at Nalco Chemical Company, where the lab had many examples of clogged pipes on display).

I should mention that my neighbor is the water treatment facility. At the end of this tour, I got the opportunity to drink water even fresher than I get in my own home (as I live close, this is something that isn’t likely to happen very often). I saw the process, the stirring, the water lab, the microbiology lab, the control room, and many tanks full of water in various treatment processes.

Apparently, there’s a one-two hour tour I could take if I want more information. I did see quite a lot of software being used. People don’t walk up to the dials to read them, any longer, even though the displays are still clearly visible. In that, though, I did not see the LIMS. The laboratory screens were mainly shut-down except for a single screen in-use showing the e-mail system.

Quite possibly, the LIMS is part of the two-hour tour, although there were quite a few areas I was not taken into and was told that the extra areas outside the main route are part of the longer tour. If I were going to write an article about my neighbor, I would take the longer tour – or, if I were incredibly nosy, which I am about these processes and software. And while I do happen to know which brand of LIMS they’re using, since that wasn’t part of the tour, I will not make that public, although I’m sure there were public RFPs (Request For Proposals) to elicit the bids with which to make the purchase (thus, leaving out my expert assistance in helping them select the product, and no local people probably involved in the implementation, probably, but that’s always how it goes, it seems).

If you think this was the highlight of my day, you’d be right. As I always tell people, I just love the tours. It’s even better than doing the actual work.  🙂

Gloria Metrick
GeoMetrick Enterprises

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