System for Informatics in the Molecular Pathology Laboratory: An Open-Source End-to-End Solution for Next-Generation Sequencing Clinical Data Management

J Mol Diagn. 2018 Jul;20(4):522-532. doi: 10.1016/j.jmoldx.2018.03.008. Epub 2018 Apr 24.


Next-generation sequencing (NGS) diagnostic assays increasingly are becoming the standard of care in oncology practice. As the scale of an NGS laboratory grows, management of these assays requires organizing large amounts of information, including patient data, laboratory processes, genomic data, as well as variant interpretation and reporting. Although several Laboratory Information Systems and/or Laboratory Information Management Systems are commercially available, they may not meet all of the needs of a given laboratory, in addition to being frequently cost-prohibitive. Herein, we present the System for Informatics in the Molecular Pathology Laboratory (SIMPL), a free and open-source Laboratory Information System/Laboratory Information Management System for academic and nonprofit molecular pathology NGS laboratories, developed at the Genomic and Molecular Pathology Division at the University of Chicago Medicine. SIMPL was designed as a modular end-to-end information system to handle all stages of the NGS laboratory workload from test order to reporting. We describe the features of SIMPL, its clinical validation at University of Chicago Medicine, and its installation and testing within a different academic center laboratory (University of Colorado), and we propose a platform for future community co-development and interlaboratory data sharing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Database Management Systems*
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing / methods*
  • Humans
  • Medical Informatics / methods*
  • Pathology, Molecular / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results