In life science research organizations worldwide, use of laboratory animals such as mice, guinea pigs, hamsters, rats, etc. for experimental purposes is vital and practically indispensable. However, the management of these animals is a complex and time-consuming task. Lab animal care personnel often struggle with the minutiae of ordering animals, caring for them, and maintaining records of their growth, development, feeds, and so on.
Specialized software such as that offered by Key Solutions, Inc., is already re-imagining the future in terms of completely automated systems for animal management. Its Lab Animal Resource Management Software (LARS) is instrumental in turning a complex, laborious procedure into something simple and equally efficient.
Requisition and Ordering: When laboratory animals have to be ordered for use in research experiments, there are forms to be filled in and requisitions to be made, among other things. LARS can be efficiently used to maintain vendor lists and accounts, and monitor communication with the concerned parties. It can not only be used to generate requests but also to create requisition forms as well as submit them electronically. In this way, the number of animals bought and maintained is noted in an electronic format for easy reference by all concerned staff members.
Animal husbandry: The care and management of laboratory animals encompasses various aspects, viz., creating adequate and clean spaces for the health of the animals, taking inventory of the animals for regular census updates, creating and maintaining cage-cleaning schedules, generating reports for various regulatory authorities and so on. LARS enables simple workflows for receiving orders for animal purchases, generating receipts, creating cage cards and, if needed, linking them to RFID tags.
Inside the research facility, animals’ health and well-being have to be cared for keeping in mind their breeding patterns. A big factor of this is estimating how much free space exists in the lab animal storage facility. LARS can effortlessly calculate the amount of cage space available for a particular species and identify them. The software can also be helpful in tracking the animals when, during cage cleaning, the animals are moved from cage to room and back.
LARS is equally beneficial in managing the weaning and other developmental milestones of the lab animals.
Billing: Maintaining accurate records in lab management is a critical part of research project management. LARS can be used for creating invoices and posting relevant bills at regular and appropriate intervals. Some lab animal systems can calculate the per diem charges as well as supply charges for the animals and also perform several tasks such as periodic and payments for receivables.
A software system for lab animal management that can easily adapt to and integrate with the organization’s own financial system is an asset to any research organization. LARS has the capability to do this and hence it turns out to be a valuable addition to any organization.
By using LARS, an animal facility can enhance its efficiency by eliminating errors and thus can increase the rate of compliance with various regulatory authorities. Being simple and user-friendly software, it becomes easy for all personnel to access and use the software; this guarantees more use and awareness of this system.
To conclude, use of LARS for lab animal management is a sensible option to boost productivity and increase efficiency in any organization.