Set to be released January 2019, LabVantage 8.4 was unveiled last month at the annual CTEC (Customer Training and Education Conference) for LabVantage users in San Diego. Encompassing LIMS, ELN and LES, the new version incorporates numerous features – many of which are new, or have been updated.

LabVantage Work and Resource Planning (WAP)
The most significant changes in this latest version are a set of improved options for managing resource capacity and availability. The WAP module allows laboratory managers to see current and upcoming work, and assign the work to both individuals and groups of users. It also allows you to see instruments based on calendar availability and work capacity.

Here’s a sample of the planning and capacity options available in LabVantage 8.4:

  • Individual users can manage their calendar directly or synchronize it with a corporate calendar, such as Outlook.
  • Available instruments can be selected and assigned based on the currently-assigned workload, made unavailable to avoid scheduled downtime and ad hoc maintenance, or filtered by certification against the potential testing tasks.
  • Testing master data can be configured to identify preferred laboratory instruments and users—or groups of users—so that incoming work can be quickly assigned. The work is optimized for the analyst’s specific skills or preferences, as well as the equipment’s proximity to the testing bench.
  • When assigning work across multiple users or groups, the workload can automatically be leveled across all resources, or configured to fill each resource to capacity before assigning tasks to the next user.

Data Privacy
Whether complying with GDPR, HIPAA, PHI or other regulations, labs sometimes need to protect data that identifies individuals. To accomplish this, LabVantage 8.4:

  • Allows rows or fields of data to be marked as containing personally identifiable information (Personal Data), and provides the ability to hide or mask Personal Data on the screen and in system reports.
  • Generates new GDPR reports that keep you in compliance with Right of Access requests, and even anonymize data associated with individuals—either for LIMS users or study subjects—to comply with requests for the Right to be Forgotten.

Master Data Navigator
Designed to speed creation and maintenance of laboratory master data, the new Master Data Navigator allows a master data builder to enter and access all master data objects from a single screen. With this feature, users are no longer forced to switch between test object screens when creating parent and child testing objects.

  • New items can be quickly entered in the navigator and are visually marked to indicate that additional detail may be required before laboratory use.
  • Once all details have been entered, the entire testing structure can be marked for laboratory use.

Customer Specifications
LabVantage 8.4 now allows specifications to be associated with one or more customer. These are useful when deciding which customer might purchase a specific batch of material or product.

The updated software allows individual specifications to be marked as causing an out-of-specification condition or being informational only; this is useful for labs that are assessing a product’s potential for a target market or customer, but don’t want these informational specifications to cause existing testing to fail.

Bulk Data Import
The LabVantage Data File Definition (DFD) feature has been significantly enhanced. As an existing LV module, DFD allows the importation of text, Excel and other worksheets. The enhanced DFD module offers:

  • Multiple new data validation options (e.g., testing values for length or data type, looking up values already in the system, or daisy-chaining multiple Excel worksheets together so they can be validated and committed together during import).
  • Improved error reporting for faster troubleshooting that pinpoints the precise column and row of the worksheet containing the errors.
  • An out-of-the-box (OOB) Excel workbook for most common master data objects which enforces good data entry with Excel cell validation.
  • DFD parsers, which are needed to correctly import the bulk data into the LIMS system once the workbook is complete.

Automated Issue Tracking and Submission
 Vantage Care, our customer care portal, allows customers to log and track LabVantage software issues. But what if a user could log a support request directly from within their LIMS?

The new Issue Tracking feature in LabVantage 8.4 allows you to do just that: capture the details of an issue directly from the LIMS, add supporting screenshots, attachments—including current software log files—and send them to a local support queue.

  • The local LIMS support resource can manage these issues (including locally), respond to user questions, and close issues once resolved.
  • Issues that local support can’t resolve can be sent directly to the Vantage Case system where LabVantage Support can take over as 2nd level support. LV Support can then ask for additional information as needed, and access all the original log files and additional attachments needed for resolution.

Additional Features
Along with all of the new and improved LabVantage updates, LabVantage 8.4 also:

  • Performs intelligent transfer of samples between arrays and tube racks
  • Integrates consumables like reagents into the ELN
  • Manages hazard and safety handling indicators
  • Controls reports by output type
  • Includes an integrated system log files viewer
  • Provides an improved stability calendar

Like what you’re seeing? Contact LabVantage today to test drive LabVantage 8.4 for yourself and see it all in action.

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