A Laboratory is equipped with several instruments ranging from a simple pH meter to the most sophisticated analytical instruments like the LC – MS – MS. All instrument facilities in different laboratory sections are under control of section heads that are accountable for their proper use and maintenance.
The section heads have to ensure the following:
- Instruments are installed and qualified by authorized engineers
- Maintenance schedules are carried out as prescribed in standard operating procedures
- Calibration schedules are followed and only calibrated equipment is used for highest reliability of results
- Only authorized and trained persons are allowed to use the instruments.
It is advisable that the section heads delegate these responsibilities to individuals amongst their staff so that their responsibility is limited to overseeing if all the actions are performed as per schedule otherwise it may become impossible to keep track on such activities.
The instrument log is a chronological record of instrument history in the laboratory. It should in include:
- Configuration details in purchase order
- Date of arrival and date of installation
- Maintenance dates
- Servicing history
- Details of upgradation with new accessories or software
- Calibration records
The instrument log should be regularly updated without fail so that whenever required its upkeep can be traced especially at time of audits
Instrument Use Log
A usage record needs to be maintained separately from the instrument record. This record helps trace the day to day usage of the instrument which proves beneficial in following ways:
- Utility of instrument to evaluate cost to benefit ratios
- Justification of maintenance and servicing costs
- Verification of you usage by authorized users
- Investigation of causes of faults in case of breakdowns
Both the records should be, if possible, placed next to the instrument and if that is not possible they should be easily accessible so that non-– traceability cannot become an excuse for non-updating the records
Instrument records, if properly maintained will save your hours of valuable time in searching for solutions during breakdowns and also help justify your decision on purchase of the instrument.