Before proceeding with this topic, it is important to note that upgrades of the itBioPath system have resulted in each specimen in the itBioPath database being linked to a patient record that has assigned to it a unique HCI Person ID alias. That same alias is used to uniquely identify patients in CCR, and is planned to be used in several of Research Informatics' other databases. Each person, as the system is designed, is to be identified by the same HCI Person ID number in each database, and that means that the ID can be used to link records associated with the same person in the different databases. What this means for biospecimens is that any specimen that is added to itBioPath will automatically show up as a Specimen in that patient's CCR record. There is no need to add the specimen in CCR at all, and there is no longer any need to link specimens in CCR to specimens in itBioPath (formerly BST). The functionality for manually linking to a specimen in itBioPath remains, however, to deal with the rare case where a transplant is involved.

Even with the majority of specimens being added to CCR automatically, there may still be a need to manually add a specimen record — either as a placeholder until the specimen is added to itBioPath or in the case where the specimen is not actually going to be added to itBioPath — perhaps because it was an externally collected specimen. The following process will add a specimen to a patient record that is not linked to itBioPath. For instructions on how to manually add a specimen to a patient record and link it to the appropriate itBioPath record at the same time (even though such an action would only be necessary in the rarest of cases), see Linking a Specimen from itBioPath to a Patient Record.

If the specimen you would like to add to the patient record is also associated with a medical event in that patient record, you might be better served to add the specimen to the medical event first rather than directly into the patient record, since it will automatically be added to the patient record at the same time. See Adding a Specimen to a Medical Event for instructions on how to do this.

In either of these cases, you can always create the specimen record now and establish links between the specimen and itBioPath and/or a medical event later on — see Linking a Previously Unlinked Specimen to an itBioPath Specimen Record and Linking a Medical Event to an Existing Specimen in the Patient Record.

To manually add a specimen to a patient record:

1. Open the patient detail record for the patient in question. See Viewing/Editing a Patient Record for instructions on how to do this.

2. Select the Labs tab.

3. Click on the + button above the Specimens grid on that tab. The Add/Link Specimen window will open. See The Add/Link Specimen Window for a description of this window.

4. Select the Specimen Type and enter the Collect Date and — if applicable — the Alias Type and Alias in the fields located in the Step 1 — Enter CCR Specimen Data data box on the Add/Link Specimen window.

5. Click on the Add Specimen button to save the new specimen to the patient record. A dialog will open, indicating that the new specimen has been added to the patient record.

To close the Add/Link Specimen window without adding a specimen to the patient record, click the Cancel button instead of the Add Specimen button.

6. Click OK to clear the dialog.

7. Repeat steps 4 through 6 for any additional specimens that might need to be added to the database (but not linked to itBioPath).

8. When you have added all of the specimens you need to, click the Cancel button to close the Add/Link Specimen window. The newly added specimens will be displayed in the Specimens grid on the patient detail window.

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Andrew Post, MD, PhD

Research Informatics Associate Director
Shirleen Hewitt, DBA


HCI Senior Director Oversight
Aik Choon Tan, PhD

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Aik Choon Tan, PhD

Faculty Advisory Committee Members
HCI Research Executive Committee