Why Choose BSI Sample Tracking Software?

While inventory data are important, BSI tracks much more. BSI is a complete specimen management system that tracks specimens throughout their entire life cycle and all the metadata pertaining to those specimens. Specimen records tracked in BSI are never lost or retired; if a specimen is depleted or goes out of the repository’s inventory, the system will always remember what happed to it, when it happened, the users responsible, and other pertinent information. A few of the modules that BSI offers to track all of your sample management needs include: Acquisitions, Subject Management, Consent Management, Study/Protocol Management, Requisitions, Assay Results, and Collection Kits.

BSI is very flexible and can accommodate any number of workflows. Users can setup fields, verifiers, templates, reports, translations, security permissions, and other tools to support and enforce the workflows.

For example, BSI’s Requisition Task Template module aids in workflow planning and tracks workflow completion by specifying a sequence of tasks that should be completed on specific specimens. It also identifies responsible task personnel, task dependencies, and which tasks are automatically applied to given specimens. BSI records any process your repository may require including shipping, aliquoting, destroying, returning to inventory, and more.

In your BSI database, data validation checks, reports, and even workflow processes are adapted to fit your requirements. At the start, a BSI database can be created with any number of data fields that you need in order to completely track your specimen collection. As your repository continues to grow, fields and verifiers can also be configured by users with the appropriate permissions through BSI’s Customization module.

The Customization module allows for the dynamic addition of new fields on specimen, subject, and consent levels. This module also provides users the ability to construct additional edit checks for data integrity and verification, edit property dialog fields and verifiers, and add new, searchable fields to the database. Users also have the freedom to designate containers with custom-defined properties that will then be represented and tracked by BSI.

The BSI database is extremely scalable and can meet and exceed the needs of a growing repository; we track over 15 million specimens for the NCI. BSI can also have any number of users and any number of fields on the database.

Good laboratory practices in conjunction with BSI verification checks guarantee that your data is dependable when you need to query it. There is extensive diversity in the edit checks that BSI supports; a typical data entry will undergo 200 different verification checks before it is allowed to be added to the BSI database. Additional verifiers can be added by users with the appropriate permission directly though the client in the Customization module. Tools can also be applied, depending on workflow requirements, requiring that data be double keyed into the system in order to ensure no keying errors exist prior to committing that data to the database.

BSI provides data templates to automatically generate data when entering or modifying records in the database. Templates can define default data for a single specimen record or a series of records which can be used during direct data entry or when you are importing data from a file.

Data normalization processes will convert entered data to a specified format, and can even be user-specified in the customization module. Some examples include stripping leading or trailing white space, capitalization, or ensuring that numeric portions of alpha-numeric fields are converted to a consistent format.

Data can be migrated from an existing system into BSI a few different ways. You can perform the conversion and load the data into BSI, use the translation features in BSI to help convert your data, or experienced IMS staff can assist you by creating migration scripts to import your data into BSI; any combination of these options is possible as well.

If you wish to perform the conversion in-house, the BSI data entry process was designed for high throughput activity, allowing users to add or import up to 10,000 records at a time. If data is stored in a delimited file, users can take advantage of the Importer Wizard tool that will walk them through importing the specimen data into the system.

Translations are available to be created in BSI. When importing data into the system, users can select a translation schema which will manipulate data from the delimited file into a form that conforms to BSI standards. Using translations when importing or migrating data reduces the amount of editing required before submitting vial data to the database.

If there is too much data to migrate, or if IT resources are not available to convert your data in an acceptable time frame, consider asking IMS to import it directly into the database by writing programs to validate the data and then bulk-load it into the database. Expert staff will analyze your data, prepare a data conversion plan for your review, create custom programs to convert your data, and execute those programs along with other conversion plan processes to efficiently load your data into BSI.

BSI provides a Web Services layer to allow your existing system or systems to interact with the BSI database. This allows the product to be scalable, adaptable, and ideal for the growing repository. The BSI Web Services interface provides a complete API for accessing specimen, sample, shipment, and requisition information. Using BSI Web Services you can execute queries on all specimen information in the database. The data is returned to you as an XML document that you can parse for inclusion in your system.

The Web Services API will allow users to create requisitions or shipments in BSI from your current system. If you have the appropriate security permissions, you can even modify specimen data from external systems. All Web Service access to BSI is restricted by a digital certificate issued by IMS and all external access points must also have a valid login ID and password to access the API.

BSI is developed and designed for controlled, concurrent user access. As for security and access privileges, BSI has user password access, user permissions, three types of user access levels, and study level security that can be set to control access to the system and system’s functions. This framework provides a highly granular security structure and allows administrators to strictly set user access and permissions.

BSI is a 21 CFR part 11 compliant application and meets the FDCC, HIPAA, and HITECH regulations. BSI also provides repositories with a system that promotes GLP/GMP/GCP for their institutions. In addition, BSI follows the ISBER and NCI Best Practices Guidelines for biospecimen tracking systems.

BSI provides support for printing labels in label formats developed for use with Brady Corporation's CODESOFT™ or BarTender™. Barcode label printing is available from most of the editors within the BSI modules, making it easy to print labels at almost any stage of your workflow. Labels can be printed in multiple barcode formats including linear, 2D, and RFID for any ID within the system.

Barcode scanning is also integrated throughout the BSI system. Users are able to scan barcodes to move specimens around the repository, add specimens to a requisition, complete tasks in a requisition, add specimen data to BSI, search on specimens, and many other tasks within the system.

BSI maintains an audit trail that includes every change made to the database including modifications to specimen data, meta-data, shipment properties, and requisition processes, as well as which authorized user is responsible for the change.

An extensive range of traceable tasks are also provided through BSI’s modules. In the Requisitions module, most of the tasks have customized lab reports available to assist in the production of required documents including aliquot plans, shipping manifests, and pull reports, among others. BSI also keeps a full lineage trail for all specimen derivatives and it is reportable and viewable at any time.

BSI Web is an easy-to-use interface to submit requests and report on specimen activity, but it’s much more than that. Suppose you are a PI or study coordinator and you need access to generate reports about specimen activity, or if you are a client wishing to submit or access shipment information. BSI Web’s intuitive web pages will allow these users limited access to monitor their specimen inventory. Through BSI Web, users can:

  • Submit and access Shipment information
  • Resolve discrepancies
  • Report on specimen activity
  • Submit and view requisition orders
  • Execute custom and ad-hoc reports

Designed for both power and flexibility, the reports module allows users to produce a number of user-defined reports. These reports can be displayed in PDF, HTML, CSV, or even as an interactive table. Users can then save their reports to individual folders or common directories to access them when necessary or share with other users. BSI even offers module specific reports throughout the system.

Each of BSI’s modules are integrated to provide one easy-to-use, intuitive search interface. Users can create Boolean logic queries of unlimited length and create user-specified filters to manage results from databases of all sizes. BSI also offers the ability to save these filters as user preferences thereby assisting users in the prioritization of requisitions based on their properties, number of samples, or destination.

The Dashboard located on the BSI Client’s home screen provides users with an interactive and comprehensive overview of their work. The Dashboard functions as the start page to the application. Each individual user is able to configure their own Dashboard to personalize their BSI experience.

A comprehensive set of widgets provide tools for reporting, charts, graphs, task status, batch information, even useful tips to help users more easily navigate the system. The Dashboard pushes important daily tasks to the forefront to keep you on top of critical responsibilities.

There are a number of options when selecting the perfect software for your biobank including custom in-house software, COTS products, or customization of existing systems to compliment your workflow. Knowing your biobank requirements for inventory data, workflow, specimen data, reporting, interoperability, security, etc. will help you make an informed decision.

Future needs should also factor into your decision. Does the system you select have the necessary features to support the growth of your inventory or the additional staff that will be needed to maintain a larger collection?

BSI offers customized software at COTS price. Not only does BSI have more features than other biobanking software systems currently available, IMS will customize it for the same price that other COTS systems charge for the base system! BSI is scalable to tens of millions of specimen records and has no per-user fees and functions on the Windows, Macintosh, Linux, and Solaris operating systems.

Yes. BSI is normally provided as an IMS hosted (SaaS) solution. The hosted environment allows IMS to provide its customers with a secure, robust, redundant, and cost-effective platform for their mission-critical biospecimen management in one of our two moderate level FISMA compliant data centers. Though BSI can be deployed and maintained on customer networks as well, many choose to keep their hosting with BSI because IMS already has the hardware and experience in place to operate BSI efficiently.