How To Select the Right Rapid Microbial Method

Many labs struggle with determining which rapid microbial method (RMM) is appropriate for them and how to begin the selection process. We’ve prepared the resources below to help you along the way.

quality control microbiology lab

Implementing an RMM eliminates days from your standard assay time or follow-up investigations, delivering the critical information needed to maintain control of your production process. The advantages of having an RMM platform, such as a Celsis® instrument, the lab extend across your company by reducing inventory requirements and production cycle times, shrinking warehousing and working capital requirements, and improving your overall profitability through lean manufacturing. We understand there's many factors to consider when selecting an RMM and have outlined the following steps to help you.

Quality control analyst counting plates used in a Traditional incubation plate method

1. Define Your Needs

Many labs mistakenly concentrate on which RMM might appear to be the best, rather than focus their selection process on which RMM will be best for their needs and products. 

When considering a rapid method, labs should first identify the key drivers and requirements that are most important to their workflow and business. These requirements, such as sample compatibility, vendor expertise, and ease of implementation, can vary from company to company, and even from within a company from site to site. Armed with this knowledge, your team can then determine what an RMM must provide, and ultimately, which RMM can meet your requirements.

In order to guide customers and help them identify viable options, we’ve created a document to use while determining which RMM will work best for them.

Download our Considerations When Choosing A Rapid Method Guide

Industrial quality control microbiology lab in operation

2. Understand the Costs

Many labs are intimidated by the initial capital costs of investing in an RMM by comparing it to current or traditional methods. It is not a secret that when it comes to technology, new will cost more than old or none at all. However, QC labs, along with their site management, should assess the long-term return on investment (ROI) of an automated method by considering the operational and functional benefits of a faster time to result. These include analyzing factors such as cost-per-test, inventory carrying costs, contamination rates, and resource requirements.

We can help you determine the five-year ROI of implementing an RMM using data from your current methods and production process through our Financial Impact Assessment tool.

Create a Financial Impact Assessment

Quality control personnel reviewing protocols and guidance documents when performing assays in a quality control microbiology laboratory

3. Understand the Rules

In addition to meeting internal business, product, and user requirements, labs must identify the appropriate regulatory or government requirements that all rapid microbial methods must fulfill. Below are the globally recognized guidance documents that should be understood and followed during this process. 

As a global leader in quality control solutions, Charles River has implemented and supported the use of rapid methods across the world and can assist you in understanding what you need to be compliant.

Microbiologist performing quality control microbiology validation testing in a laminar flow hood to compare traditional methods

4. Plan the Implementation Strategy

When selecting a rapid method, implementation and validation is often considered the biggest obstacle in the path to adoption. Many prospective companies believe that the qualification and validation approach must be novel and unique to their business, requiring advanced statistics. However, as an industry, successful labs are willing to share and present on their approach, method, and outcomes when it came to validating their own system.

Charles River has presented the work of two industry thought leaders to help contribute and educate our customers and those looking to bring a rapid method into their lab.

Quality control microbiologist performing membrane filtration test for use with a rapid microbial method

5. Start the Process

Still have questions? Our Product Specialists can work with you and your team to determine the best path forward to implementation specific to your product, your method, and your lab.

Let's Begin