Blogs

BSI Security Measures

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Data security and account breaches are concerns for anyone who accesses accounts electronically. As software that may store potentially sensitive data, BSI has measures in place that meet today’s most stringent security standards. One such measure is the need for BSI account holders to have strong passwords. Another measure is the availability of single sign-on authentication to access BSI. Lastly, BSI has one database preference that can manage how long passwords remain valid and another preference that can lock inactive accounts. A strong password has a high degree of complexity and is important because it is the first line of defense against hackers ...
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Streamlining

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BSI continually strives to enhance and streamline functionality so that users can spend less time on the computer and more time with their specimen collections. Most recently, we’ve released a few enhancements and are excited to share how to incorporate them into your workflow. Locations People who regularly work in the Locations manager are probably familiar with the three tabs associated with each box, rack, shelf, and MSC container type:   The Parameters tab shows the properties of the container. The Layout tab displays the location of each specimen within the container. The Contents tab is a table view of specimen locations. ...
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Field Types

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There are several different field types that can be selected. Depending on which type is selected, additional options will be displayed once you fill out the initial fields on the Field screen and click Create Field. The additional options are listed below under each field type: Text Use the text field type when you would like to allow users to type in free-form text using letters, number and/or symbols. Size - The maximum number of characters that can be entered in the field.  Enter a whole number. Default Value - The text that will appear in the field when a new issue is created. Can be left blank. Lookup Use a lookup field when there is ...
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In April 2017, BSI hosted a User Group Meeting which was designed to introduce new users to BSI topics, acquaint seasoned users with additional functionality, and give all users a forum for networking. This was accomplished with two busy days of workshops, sessions, and informal meetings intermingled with socializing among BSI representatives and the BSI community at large. In addition to sessions about BSI managers such as Locations, Templates, and Results, conference attendees learned about other interesting topics such as BSI Connect, Data Warehouse, and the future of BSI. A really popular aspect of the conference was that users could schedule one-on-one ...
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BSI User Support Site

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BSI offers exceptional customer service in the form of live software support and by offering a comprehensive BSI User's Guide . The User Support site, which includes the BSI User’s guide, is an online resource center dedicated to helping users find information about BSI. It contains informational pages, instructional videos, and a glossary of BSI terminology. In addition, every BSI database can have its own community forum which limits access to select members. The User’s Guide is an ever-expanding software support site with a nicely organized landing page. The landing page is divided into several broad categories and their associated subcategories. Each ...
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Since the launch of BSI Engage, there have been quite a few exciting enhancements to make the site even more dynamic and intuitive than ever! For example, users have several more search options, they can approve or deny requisitioned specimens from Engage, and they can track packages with a simple link. In addition, Engage users can now choose a column view template that will be applied in the client. With the inclusion of search operators and advanced searching techniques, finding the right specimens has become so much easier. For example, users can now include an asterisk character in the search term which acts as a wildcard - a character that ...
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BSI Consents

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When researchers collect participant information or specimens for a study, they often must also obtain consent. For this reason, BSI has the Consent manager. The Consent manager helps users track consent information and offers functionality to alert users if there are consent restrictions. The manager contains two sub-managers: Consent Form and Patient Consent .  A consent form is where users can define the fields that will appear in each Patient Consent and a Patient Consent is where users populate form values for each study participant. Creating a consent form is easy because it is similar to other places in BSI where users define fields. Each ...
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Location Reservations

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When asked to pick a favorite BSI module, many users select the Locations manager. This is because, in addition to having a nice representation of physical storage facilities, several other managers are integrated into it. For example, users can add or modify specimens, requisition them, or run any number of reports from the Locations manager. Similarly, other managers integrate aspects of Locations so that users can make or change location assignments. For instance, users can assign locations when adding specimen data or when completing specific requisition tasks such as Return to Inventory. This is accomplished using the Reserve Locations wizard which ...
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In a previous article , we discussed the relationship between BSI repositories and studies in regards to how study authorization and repository type can restrict data access. Collectively, this is referred to as Study Level Security . When employed, researchers can limit which specimens users can view. In addition to making a study require authorization, researchers may be interested in other features of the Studies manager such as e-signature actions, specimen approval, and minimum vial or volume warnings. E-signature actions act as an added layer of security to verify that the person completing the action is the same as the person who is ...
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In BSI, specimens are associated with a repository and a study. With this association, researchers have options to more easily track their specimens and limit data access.  A repository can represent a facility, such as a laboratory, that has possession of specimens and dedicated specimen storage space. Only users who can log into the repository which owns the specimens, can make modifications to the data. ‘ Studies’ gives users additional functionality such as authorization, e-signature actions, and requisition approvals. When specimens are associated with an authorized study, researchers can further limit data access but if specimens are affiliated with ...
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Configuring BSI

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BSI is a comprehensive biospecimen data management system which has several ways users can configure their database so it is best suited for their data capture needs and unique workflow patterns. Since some options affect the entire database, a thoughtful approach to database set-up will maintain consistency, reduce time spent granting user permissions, and make the transition to the production environment that much easier. It is therefore advisable for new database owners and managers to make a few key decisions about specific aspects of the database before specimen information is added to it. In addition to deciding the name of the database, database ...
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Overseeing work that is performed on specimens is not always simple, but BSI has a tracking option that is becoming increasingly popular. This option is to approve or deny specimens for requisitions. When utilized, the Principal Investigator (PI) of a study or designated individual can better monitor specimen activity. To enable requisition vial approval functionality, permission is needed from the database owner who allows a system administrator to add the system preference. Enabling this preference means that users who submit a requisition with specimens requiring approval will not be able to complete tasks on the specimens until approval is granted. ...
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Kits

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The BSI Kits manager is a versatile tool with four sub-managers dedicated to the creation and management of specimen collection supplies. The four submanagers are called: Supplies, Centers, Templates, and Inventory; each of which serves a specific purpose. In the Supplies submanager, users may define the available components from which a repository can build kits.  Along with the supply type, users enter each item’s quantity, manufacturer, expiration date, lot number, and storage location. In addition, users can make an item the ‘default’ supply so that as kits are built, default supplies are decremented first. This is especially useful if there ...
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Reserving IDs

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In BSI, users can make two different types of ID reservations and it is helpful to understand which is needed for a particular workflow. Depending on the type of reserved ID, users either get an error or warning message in an uncommitted Data Entry or Shipment batch. A reserved BSI ID generates an error if users try to commit a batch with IDs that have been previously reserved. Reserved Sample IDs, display a warning in order to remind users that the sample is associated with a particular Study and/or Subject. Reserving BSI IDs is simple. In a Data Entry or Shipment batch, users can choose the ‘ Assign BSI IDs ’ feature in the Tools Menu which prompts ...
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System Preferences

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BSI is a highly customizable specimen inventory software and one way in which a database can be customized is through System Preferences. System Preferences modify the way that specific database processes function and when databases are initially set up, several preferences contain a default value that can be updated at a later time. Since system preferences can impact all users in the database, only system administrators can make modifications to them, once approval is granted by the database owner. As mentioned, new databases have several system preferences with an assigned value. For example, a new database may contain more than one repository and the ...
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New specimen information is entered into BSI via Data Entry (DE) batches. This is typically the practice where repositories collect fresh specimens from donors and bring them into a laboratory for testing, processing, and storing.  In the situation where specimens are instead ordered and delivered from a vendor, users can enter the data into the Shipments manager and then transfer it to a Data Entry batch for completion. So why use the Shipments manager when the information is eventually transferred to a data entry batch? There are several benefits but in general, the Shipments manager is specifically designed to better track shipped specimens. The ...
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In a laboratory setting where specimens are processed, the BSI Requisition manager is an excellent tool to capture the many activities that typically occur. This is accomplished when users bring specimen records into a requisition and complete ‘ tasks’ one at a time; a system that works well if not all specimens are processed similarly. For occasions when specimens are handled in the same way based on a specific protocol or routine, BSI introduced the Requisition Task Template (RTT) manager to automate the process of adding and applying tasks. Like most managers, users need permissions to view the RTT manager and create new templates. When creating ...
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Passwords

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BSI ensures the security of databases with its password settings. Passwords can be changed through the user editor. To access the user editor you can go to the ‘ Tools ’ dropdown menu and select ‘ User Profile… ’ to make changes to your password. Passwords expire every 90 days but can be changed before the 90 day period if needed. A new password must meet a number of requirements to be accepted by the system. The requirements for a password include: Must be at least 8 characters in length Must contain at least one number and one letter Must not be a password has not been used in the previous 10 passwords If any of these requirements are ...
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Reserving Locations

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Many BSI users are familiar with reserving locations using the Location reservation tool or icon from a Data Entry or Shipment Batch. What users may not know is the number of other options associated with location reservations. For instance, in an uncommitted Data Entry and Shipment batch, if only some of the specimens have a reserved location, there is an option to Resume a Location Assignment. When selected, highlighted rows are automatically populated with available location values in the same container. Another option allows users to save a list of one or more reserved locations and retrieve the list at a later time. This is done by using the Reserve ...
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BSI Shortcuts

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The adage, ‘Time is Money’ is not wasted in BSI where we recognize that improved efficiency equates to greater productivity.  BSI offers several features to help users spend less time entering data so they have more time working with specimens. This is accomplished by offering several tools and features throughout BSI where users need to work quickly. For example, BSI has integrated functionality where users can seamlessly access features from several managers. There are also keyboard shortcuts and options to scan; both of which significantly reduce the amount of time needed for data entry. Although it may not always seem obvious, many of BSI managers have ...
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