Eindhoven U. of Technology joins Lab Servant for Ordering & Inventory

Eindhoven U. of Technology (TU/e) recently joined the Lab Servant for the Ordering & Inventory module.
After 15-20 years using another platform  TU/e decided to switch to the Lab Servant. One of the unique selling points of the Lab Servant is the integration of the Inventory with the ordering process. This enables the risk evaluation of chemicals before they’re actually ordered. Minimising the use of hazardous chemicals is requested by Dutch and EU regulations. By the early stage order check it’s easier to comply with these regulations. The check is supported by retrieving safety information of a chemical from Chemwatch. This process doesn’t require any human interaction because the CAS no. of a chemical is retrieved from a supplier’s webshop and directly sent to Chemwatch. The Chemwatch safety information of the chemical is shown within seconds in Lab Servant order form. The user can decide to carry on with the order or to look for alternatives that are less hazardous. If a hazardous chemical is indispensable a remark can be linked to the order to justify the purchase to internal and external auditors.

The Inventory itself helps the researchers to quickly find their chemicals, not only within their own department but also at other departments. This could save money if resources can be shared.

A warehouse function completes this Lab Servant module and and enables stock levels of chemicals to be maintained both locally and centrally.

LUMC joins Lab Servant for Biosafety and Lab inspections

The Leiden university hospital (LUMC) joins Lab Servant for Biosafety. The development of the Biosafety module will be boosted by this participation. The current functionality of the module covers the registration of hosts, vectors, inserts and viruses on one side and the registration of notifications, permits and users on the other side. The current Risk Evaluation for preparing GGOs will be largely automated thanks to the work of a nationwide workgroup that prepared an approach for Risk Evalutions based on “Groups of equal risk profile”. LUMC, in collaboration with the Amsterdam Free U. (VU), the VU medical centre (VUmc) and the the U. of Maastricht worked this out a step further by developing an algorithm with which cell lines, vectors and inserts can be allocated automatically to the aforementioned Groups. The Lab Servant team implemented already a great part of this approach and will finish it by the end of the year. The result will be that the Risk Evaluation of GGO experiments with cell lines can be done very efficient, saving researchers time and effort.

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Registration of mixtures added

Recently we added the functionality to also register mixtures in the Lab Servant.
Initially we were mainly focused on the registration of single substances (up to 20k at a university) but users asked us to add the possibility to register mixtures. We have combined this with the entering and storage of propietary safety information for a substance. This can be useful if Chemwatch doesn’t provide safety data for a substance. With more than 800.000 substances in the Chemwatch database that chance is small but not zero.

The self-added information is shown in the sheet of a substance or mixture in a separate tab “Propietary data”.

The possibility has also been added to print CLP compatible labels with GHS symbols in color.
This also ensures compliance with the requirement that all (own) mixtures in the lab or shop floor must be labeled with the applicable GHS symbols. The latter requirement came into force mid-2017.

GDPR implementation in Lab Servant

The GDP privacy regulation, also known in the Netherlands as AVG, is based on the minimisation of the number of systems in an institution where personal data is stored. On the other hand, there is the obligation to preserve the possible exposure of researchers to carcinogenic substances (or broader CMR agentia) for 40 years.

How did we reconcile these two contradictory requirements in the Lab Servant?

The answer is found in the pseudonymisation of personal data at a time when an employee or student is no longer connected to the institute for more than a certain period of time, say a year. Pseudonymisation means that all personal details of a person are deleted in the Lab Servant and that the name is replaced by a personnel number (employees) resp. student number (students).

The key between name and number is only known in the corporate employee resp. student administration system.

If after a long time a person reports to the institute with complaints that could result from the exposure to hazardous substances, the HR department can check in the Lab Servant – with the “key” – with which substances the person worked in which lab and during which period. All that information has been stored in the Lab Servant in a pseudonymised manner. The pseudonymisation routine runs every night and processes the persons who are no longer connected to the institute for more than an agreed period.