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Incomplete Samples with All Results

Q: “On more than one occasion, we have received a sample summary report as evidence of a sample with all analyses completed yet no completed date. For a site using LIMS Messaging to send completed results this posed a problem. How could the LIMS not mark the sample complete when all of its analyses were complete? Recently, more information brought the problem to light.”

A: In one instance, a user was approving a batch of several hundred samples in the Results by Analyte screen in a large database with many concurrent users. When exiting the Results by Analyte screen, the LIMS had to process the completion event for every sample just completed, which included looking up and assigning costs to every analyte. In this case, with batch completion messaging enabled the LIMS also had to look up each sample’s customer and project messaging configuration and add a completion message to Messaging’s queue. The entire process takes time. Accustomed to fast system response when completing batches of just a few samples, the user thought the LIMS was hanging on the batch of several hundred samples. The user either rebooted or used Windows’ Task Manager to end LIMS, which left some of the batch’s samples without a completed date but with all results.

The solution: be patient. Rebooting the workstation or using Task Manager to terminate an unresponsive LIMS should only be actions of a last resort.

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