Training of Animal health laboratory diagnosticians on the use of Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS)

The hands-on training on Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) for the laboratory diagnosticians from all the animal health laboratories of the country was completed recently. A three-day training were conducted each in three regions: in Monggar for Eastern region from 5 to 7 November, in Punakha for Western region from 18 to 20 Novemeber 2020, and in Bumthang for Central region from 26 to 28 November 2020. A total of 52 participants were involved in the training and the resource persons were involved from the National Centre for Animal Health and Namchoey consultancy, Thimphu. The participants represented the National Veterinary Laboratory, Serbithang; the National Veterinary Hospital, Motithang; the Regional Livestock Development Centres and the Dzongkhag Veterinary Laboratories. However, in compliance to COVID protocol, the participants from the red zone southern districts were not included in this training. Data management on laboratory service operations is very challenging without proper record keeping. Further, due to the lack of electronic recording system, it is tedious to compile the reports and perform analysis from hard copies. This affects the delivery of laboratory services as a whole in the country. The animal health services did not have such electronic recording system of the laboratory activities in the past. The same was recommended by the Technical Backstopping Mission of FAO conducted in 2017, and accordingly the National Centre for Animal Health, Serbithang has developed an online LIMS for storage of information on laboratory activities, report generation, report dissemination to clients, thus contributing to enhancement of animal health service delivery throughout the country. The Database was tested in-house for several rounds and was formally launched in July 2019. It has the features for online entry of sample details, test result, diagnosis and recommendation. The system helps the veterinary laboratories to track samples from submission to testing and reporting. This database enables real time tracking of sample testing status through a paperless system. Besides data storage and test result dissemination, customized analysis can also be performed to provide decisions required in policy interventions. This database will immensely reduce turn-around-time for diagnostic service delivery as a whole. This system is intended for all the laboratory facilities under the Department of Livestock in the country. The Main objective of the training was to support animal health laboratories in the use of electronic recording system of all the laboratory activities and use paperless system of result dissemination, generation of accurate AST data for guiding the veterinary clinicians for prescribing right antibiotics and thereby promoting their prudent use. In addition, the training of relevant officials will greatly support data generation and analysis for the forthcoming laboratory surveillance in chickens under the Fleming Fund Country grant. The training was conducted by the National Veterinary Laboratory, Serbithang and funded by the Fleming Fund country grant.
Submitted by: Dr. N.K. Thapa and Ms. Puspa Maya Sharma, Laboratory Services Unit

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