Project Tracker Implementation at Washington University

Dave Mulvihill, Director Informatics, Washington University (WU) Tissue Procurement Core, presented how they use OpenSpecimen’s “Project Tracker” module to streamline biobank “Projects & Requests” – eliminating cumbersome Excels and relying on emails.

Washington University is one of the oldest and largest adopters of OpenSpecimen. At WU, OpenSpecimen is used by 100+ users across ~50 research groups, including the TPC and Alliance Trial.

About Project Tracker

Earlier, WU TPC used to track specimen requests using an in-house system. “Tracking specimen requests using the PRTS system was challenging. Many emails and phone calls needed to go back and forth to know the statuses of specimen request and services.” Dave said. The TPC staff used to collect specimen information using Excel files, which was difficult to track and maintain.

To resolve this issue, they collaborated with Krishagni to develop the “Project Tracker” module in OpenSpecimen.

Dave emphasized, “In OpenSpecimen, it’s very user-friendly to create projects and track specimen requests. You don’t need programming or IT skills for that.”

They created their own workflow using the ‘Forms’ module. Dave stated – “The Forms module is very powerful and pretty flexible. You can create your own user interface controls using forms. You can also create forms to collect additional information about your projects or requests”.

Highlights of the Webinar

  • Challenges faced by the Tissue Procurement Core while managing projects
  • Requirements and goals for new project tracking application
  • Project Tracker plugin in OpenSpecimen
  • Configuration of projects as per local need without IT support
  • Specimen request submission and laboratory workflow
  • Email notifications for the status of services
  • Creating reports based on projects

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