Recently, the 2nd BBMRI-LPC Forum meeting was held in Tallin, Estonia where many international biobanks, registries and large population-based cohorts gathered to discuss the past, present and future of biobanking procedures and how they can be related to effective IT solutions for better biobank management.
Among the many interesting talks at the forum, one that caught our interest was 7 steps to a total biobank management solution by Thermo Fisher Scientific.
1. Define your current process:
Sample collection — Aliquoting –Testing — Checking results — Reporting
Every biobank management solution is based on a biobank workflow that outlines the series of actions that need to be taken before reaching a documented result. Outlining this procedure is the first step towards successfully determining your IT needs.
2. Create a project team:
End-user, Project manager, Lab manager, Administrator, QA manager, Finance manager, Principle investigator, etc.
A solid project team will enable accurate assignment of tasks and will facilitate proper Role-Based Access Control in your biobank management solution. Having clearly defined roles are an essential for the successful biobank management.
3. User requirement specification:
The URS is a detailed document on system function requirements, business requirements, training protocols, specification of SOPs and customer support needs.
Perhaps, the most important step in procuring the ideal IT solution for your biobank. This step involves clearly defining your needs according to the aim of your biobank project as well as future biobanking needs.
Request for Information — Request for Proposal — Check references — Define the cost of ownership in the next 5 years — Tendering (if needed)
The best way to define a budget for a biobank management solution is to conduct a comparison among the leading suppliers in the market. This is readily done through publishing an RFI and conducting a detailed comparison of responses.
5. Supplier selection:
Some factors that contribute towards supplier selection are cost, functional availability, location, market share, stability, reference checks and demo with a predefined workflow.
Supplier selection can be done by clearly defining the criteria for selection, based on the needs of your organization. Every supplier will have a different field of excellence and it is important that your organization clearly defines its preferences.
6. Monitoring the start and progress:
Project initiation — Initial training — Workshop sessions — Further specifications — Final build — delivery
This stage involves redefining your requirements based on comments on the URS, workshop and training sessions and further specification writing by your team. This will lead to the documentation of RTM (Release to Manufacturing) and the final build of your biobank management solution.
7. Project delivery:
This step involves the final step in procurement of an ideal solution for improved biobank management. It includes User Acceptance Testing, User training protocols and the Support Handover Document.
User acceptance testing, which is the last phase of software testing, involves verifying that the solution is fit for the user. It confirms the functionality and performance of the biobank management solution and is vital for the proper adoption of the solution throughout the organization. User training protocols and the Support Handover Document (includes technical support guides and implementation documents) is also included in this stage.
SmartBiobank: Data management system for biomedical research
Secure online data management solution designed to promote biomedical research through effective biobanking, clinical data collection and its integration with experimental data sets.