Lab Procedures In LabLog

Introduction

In this article you will learn how to create a lab protocol or any Standard Operating Procedure in less than 5 minutes using LabLog.

What is a standard operating procedure or SOP?

In research laboratories, lab protocols give you step-by-step instructions for performing an experiment. Protocols allow you to corroborate the results of other researchers -a crucial step for advancing science. In the biotech and pharmaceutical industries, where product safety is paramount, standard step by step instructions are created to provide precise guidance for any activity related product design, manufacture and quality control. For example, detailed instructions must be followed for cleaning tools used for the manufacturing of drugs. In industrial settings, the step by step instructions are usually referred to as Standard Operating Procedures or SOPs.

Although lab protocols and SOPs follow a common structure, many labs and organizations have their own specific SOP format. Transferring SOPs to computerized formats provides many benefits. However, digitization can prove to be costly and time consuming if the organization's established format of the SOPs changes drastically as a result of digitization.

LabLog makes it very easy to create digital lab protocols and SOPs that are similar to the existing paper versions of your organization's SOPs. LabLog has enough flexibility to allow users to choose the format they want their experimental results and lab protocols to appear in digital and paper formats. In the world of software technologies, flexibility sometimes means compromise in user friendliness and ease of use. LabLog, however, is extremely easy to use while giving you the flexibility to create digital lab documents the way you prefer.

Computerizing lab protocols and SOPs does not have to involve endless rows and columns with rigid formatting requirements. LabLog provides a familiar interface for you to create lab documents. The beauty and simplicity of using pen and paper is never lost. Let's have a look at the paper versions of a commonly used lab SOP below. This was created using the LabLog app in less that 5 minutes.

How does a SOP look like in LabLog?

1. The sample SOP below has three main sections: -Header, -General statements and information, -Detailed procedures.  Let's have a look at these sections in detail.

Download PDF version

undefined

In the header section, you see that the title is followed by a unique id generated by LabLog. The header also includes a table to display key relevant information.

This header format is commonly used by organizations in the life sciences industry.

LabLog takes care of generating the header section for you, so you can focus on the content. LabLog adds the document creation and signature information in line with CFR 21 Part 11 requirements.

You can determine how the sections below the header should look like by the way you enter data in a LabLog method. The "Related Documents" section, in the above PDF, was created by entering "Related Documents" as a step title in a method in the LabLog App. The next step is "EHS Statement" (step title in LabLog) and it's description (step description in LabLog).

Finally, in the "Procedures" section was created by adding a third step to the method in the LabLog app. The title of this final step is "Procedures". In the description, step by step instructions are typed in.

In the example above, the procedures section list is placed in one method step. An alternative approach to creating the procedures section is to create one method step per procedure. This will give you more flexibility in terms of performing tasks or experiments based on the individual method steps.

Step by step instructions for creating protocols and SOPs in your lab notebook app

(A) Mobile and tablet devices (Android and iOS)

1. Launch the LabLog app and log in.

2. Tap on the Methods button in your main dashboard page. The methods list page appears.

3. Tap on the blue + button to create a new method.

4- On top of the page, give your method a title by entering text in the title field.

5- Top on the blue + button to create a new step.

6- The step detail page appears. The step detail page has a title field and a description field. An example of a step title is the "EHS Statement" in the above PDF. The corresponding step description appears below the title.

NOTE: You can attach files or videos/photos using your phones camera.

7- After you've finished adding all the details for the step. Tap on the back arrow on top of the step detail page to go back to the method detail page.

8- Repeat steps 5-7 to add more steps to your method.

9- Tap on the export button on top of the method detail page and select "Export Method" to create a PDF file that is similar to the above example.

undefined

(B) Web app

The process of creating a method in the LabLog web app is very similar to using the mobile app.

1. Log in to the web interface and select "Methods" from the top menu on your dashboard page.

NOTE: In the web app, your methods list and the method detail view are in the same page. click on a method in the list to reveal it's detail view.

2. Click on the + button to create a new method.

3- On the right of the page, you can add steps to your new method by clicking on the "Add steps" button.

4- The step detail page appears. Enter title and description. You can also attach files to the step on this page.

5- Tap "Done" to save the step and go back to the methods list page.

6- Repeat steps 3-5 to add all the required steps for your method.

7- Click on the Export method button to generate the PDF file.

Summary

Creating digital lab documents using LabLog is extremely simple and time saving. At the same time, LabLog is powerful enough to give you the flexibility to choose the structure of your final documents. You are no limited to rows and columns or a rigid electronic note format. Lastly, the printed and electronic versions of LabLog are FDA Part 11 compliant (CFR 21 Part 11).

Related articles:

How to write write SOPs in life science industry?

The All-In-One Solution for FDA Electronic Records Compliance

Electronic Lab Notebook Best Practices