Specimen Event Tracking

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Specimen Event Tracking (SET) profile is a project of the IHE PaLM Technical committee that was started in 2016. The purpose of this new profile of the PaLM domain is to define a series of use cases and all related events relevant to be tracked, when one or more macro operations involving a specimen occur (i.e., container preparation, collection, movement from one facility to another one, archiving, and so on).


The Specimen Event Tracking (SET) profile covers use cases and transactions related to the tracking of biological specimens in vitro collected for the purpose of diagnostic testing, during their entire lifecycle, from creation to storage inside a laboratory specimen archive or a biobank for future usage, and to final disposal. Specimen workflows can involve a ward and a laboratory in the same hospital, different laboratory facilities inside the same institution, or across different institutions. In the latter case, specimens need to be transferred by a courier service from the sending institution to the receiving institution. Another important use case to be tracked is the specimen creation for the specific purpose of becoming part of a biobank for a research institution or program. The SET profile tracks macro activities related to specimens, such as collecting, shipping, receiving, accepting... Micro operations part of a macro activity (e.g. decapping a tube) are out of scope of the profile. For most recent information on the SET please see: http://wiki.ihe.net/index.php/Pathology_and_Laboratory_Medicine_(PaLM)#Current_Activity.

SET main profile image.jpg

Figure 1 - Some of the main events that might occur to a Specimen during its overall lifecycle, and that the SET profile aims to track. Traceability messages are collected at each step by an Informer entity and sent to a tracker entity (repository). Notice that, according to the use case, the trackers may be more than one, if the Collecting and Laboratory, if the Collecting Facility and the Laboratory have independent tracking environments.

Higher level use case categories are: 1) Specimen collecting tracking: this is the starting link of the specimen tracking chain for every SET profile use case. 2) Specimen Inter-Organization transfer: these use cases cover scenarios where specimens have to be transported from an institution to another. 3) Intra-organization testing workflow specimen transfer: this use case analyzes some workflows occurring inside the same institution, where the involved facilities can be physically located in the same building, or physically separated, with an intra-organization inter-facilities transfer. 4) Intra-laboratory IVD testing specimen tracking: this use case is focused on the main tracking events happening during all In Vitro Diagnostics (IVD) testing operations performed on a specimen 5) Specimen biobank transfer: these use cases are related to the transfer of a specimen to a biobank and its future retrieval for further analysis. See also 2.7. 6) Pathology specimen tracking: this class of use cases addresses the tracking of specimens related to Anatomic Pathology testing workflow.

1) A new message type will be proposed for implementation. The main purpose for this message type is that of carrying specimen events tracking information, during all the phases of its clinical lifecycle, as: labeled containers production, collection, movement intra or inter organization/facilities, movement in an analyzer chain, biobanks, and so on. 2) The proposed structure for the new message type shall be able to carry all needed information for all the different types of events. Some of the segments/blocks will be mandatory or not, according to the different types of events that the new message is tracking. All these restricting rules could be directly addressed in IHE Specimen Event Tracking (SET) profile Volume 2 implementation. 3) For tracking purposes, some of the tracking events defined inside the SET profile require a reference to the order (i.e., Placer Order Number) that originated the request for specimens production (Transactions LAB-1 and LAB-2). In order to avoid to add into the new message structure both ORC and OBR segments only for this reason, a field inside the SPM segment has to be found, in order to fulfill these requirement. For this reason, the proposed new message structure will not consider the presence of an ORDER block section.

<Insert a simple graphic that, at a glance, visually summarizes what the profile is about. Do not use an actor/transaction diagram here. Show your graphic to someone for 5 seconds (literally) and ask them what it's about. If what they say hits the main points in your summary paragraph, you have succeeded. E.g. a graphic of a hospital, a clinic, and a lab with patient records moving between them. .>

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<If the user might be familiar with the mechanisms used by the profile, you can mention them here. E.g. Evidence Documents is based on DICOM Structured Report (SR) Templates.>

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Systems Affected

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  • EHR-S
  • LIS
  • Lab automation manager
  • ...

Actors & Transactions: SET.jpg

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Profile Status: Final Text <Replace "Final Text" with "Trial Implementation" or "Public Comment" as appropriate.>

Documents: Link to current draft document: [1] Link to SET matrix with collection of all data elements per use case: https://wiki.ihe.net/index.php/File:2019_01_SET_new_mapping_structure_pre_HL7_call.xlsx

Underlying Standards:

  • HL7 v2 - chapters 7 (for OSM^R26) and 13 (for SSU^U03) HL7
  • ...

See Also

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Related Profiles

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Consumer Information

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Implementer Information

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Reference Articles

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