When creating a new Batch, the selected Lab Protocol defines what Lab Samples and Lab tests will be automatically created. The protocol can be automatically selected by LIMS if a Lab Specification (referencing a Lab Protocol) has been correctly mapped to the same Material/Country/Organization combination as selected on the Batch.

Lab Protocols are also referenced on Lab Specifications, where the Lab Specification Criteria target specific Lab Result Definitions from Lab Methods within the selected Lab Protocol. This is used when LIMS performs result evaluation, matching the Lab Results to the Lab Specification Criteria via these relationships.

Lab Protocol Version Control

Lab Protocol records are under Vault LIMS version control. Once these records enter the Effective lifecycle state, they cannot be edited. Instead, you must create a new version using the Create New Version action on the record.

When a Lab Protocol is created, Vault automatically creates an associated Lab Protocol Group record in the background. The Lab Protocol Group record tells LIMS that these records are versions of the same Lab Protocol, and is used to display the Version History section on your Lab Protocol record.

If you make a new Lab Protocol version effective, note that this could have a wide-reaching impact on everything referencing the prior version, such as Lab Specifications and their Lab Specification Criteria.

Creating Lab Protocols

Before creating a Lab Protocol, you need to first have Lab Methods in the Effective state type.

Adding Lab Sample Definitions to a Lab Protocol

Each Lab Protocol record contains one or more Lab Sample Definitions, which outline the sample collection procedure and what lab methods to run for each (if any). During sample initiation, LIMS creates Lab Sample records according to the Sample Definition records on the Lab Protocol.

In the Lab Sample Definitions section of the Lab Protocol record, create definitions as needed, indicating the sample’s type, order, and collection instructions in each definition.

Adding Lab Methods to your Sample Definitions

After you have defined your Lab Sample Definitions, you can select Lab Methods to run against each sample.

  1. In the Methods section of a Lab Sample Definition record, click Create.
  2. Enter the required fields, and select an effective Lab Method for this Lab Sample Definition (use the binoculars if you need to see more information about the Lab Methods in the list).
  3. Click Save.

About Cross-Method Variables in Calculated Results

When adding Lab Methods to Sample Definitions in your Lab Protocol, if the Lab Method contains a calculated Lab Result Definition with cross-method variables, LIMS automatically creates a Variable Target record for each cross-method variable, and attaches them at the Lab Protocol level. These are used to instruct LIMS what exact Lab Result Definition to target (and from what exact Sample Definition) for each of the cross-method variables identified.

Before you can make the protocol Effective, you must complete the fields on the Variable Target records that denote which Lab Result Definition (from within a specific Sample Definition and Lab Method) is the target of this calculation variable.

About Reduced Testing

You can define reduced testing options so that Vault LIMS applies rules to newly created Batches to fit reduced testing strategies. Sample Definitions and Lab Methods in your protocol have an option to indicate whether they are applicable to batches that are eligible for reduced testing.