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How do I use an Evidence Kit in LIMS-plus v5?

LIMS-plus v5 offers customizable evidence Kits as a way to increase the speed of data entry of groups of Evidence and/or Requests for analysis that are commonly encountered in a Laboratory. With minimal actual data entry, users can add multiple Evidence items and Evidence types, and can also include the addition of analysis requests to be performed on the particular items of Evidence. When a Kit is selected, it will automatically populate the required information. Kits are most often used for evidence that is always stored in the same location and/or always requires the same request(s) for analysis. A Kit may contain any number of Evidence items, but when selected for entry into a case, users can select only the items that accompany the particular Kit they are entering.

For example: The Sexual Assault Kit may routinely contain vaginal, oral, and rectal swabs, as well as smears, underwear, fingernail clippings, pubic hair combings, and a reference sample. However, a submitted Kit may or may not contain all of the listed items. The LIMS-plus v5 application allows the administrator to set up the Kit to account for ALL items, but allows the user to choose at the time of submission ONLY the items that are actually present. The Kit can also include a biological analysis request (for the unknown samples) and a DNA analysis request (for the reference sample) and specify the default storage location for the evidence.

Kits are created from within the Lab screen.  Please see that topic for more information about creating Kits.

Kits are used from within the Evidence tab of a new or existing case:

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From within the Add Evidence window, select a Kit from the picklist.

The next window to appear is the Add Kit window:

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From the first Add Kit screen, select the items that will be included and click Next.

The next screen is the Services screen, where requests for services can be added to the Kit. Select any requests for services to be included and click Next.

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On the next screen, select the Agency and Agency Representative (or add an Agency Representative by clicking on the plus "+" button), which are required. Relate an Offense to the Evidence in the Kit by selecting one of the Offenses listed on the grid. If necessary, relate special handling instructions by clicking on the Special Handling Instructions icon in the lower left-hand corner of the screen.

When finished adding to the Kit, click Save.

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Once the Kit information is saved, all of the items that were configured in the Kit will be listed on the New Evidence Entry window. From this window, Evidence items can be added, edited, deleted or itemized, and the initial chain of custody can be entered. Select one or more items on the list by clicking on the button to the left of the Evidence item(s) before entering the additional information related to that Evidence item.

To enter the initial chain of custody for the Evidence items, then enter the From, To, and (optionally) Then To information (2). These values can be an external representative, an internal Laboratory representative, a storage location, and/or an Individual (e.g., owner), but must at least include ONE person or location. To enter a barcode in the From, To or Then To fields, place the cursor in a yellow box and scan the barcode. Once a value is entered into the Then To field, the transfer form creates a new Then To field/line. Further transfers can continue to be entered until the chain of custody has been resolved to the current location of the evidence. This feature allows users to back-capture information that was not able to be input at the actual time of the transfer. Note that the initial chain of custody entered will apply to all of the items included in the Kit.

Depending on the Laboratory's procedures, a barcode scan and/or PIN entry may be forced when a Laboratory representative or an external representative is involved in a transfer. Evidence item barcode scans may also be forced. However, if barcode scans are not forced, the Select Location (barcode) icon (3) can be used to select the Staff Member, Agency Representative, or Storage Location.

The Date/Time will automatically populate with the current date and time. Use the Select Date (calendar) button (4) to change the date and/or time.

The "Via" field (5) is used to indicate the means of delivery of the submission (e.g., USPS or courier), if necessary.

The Notes field (6) is used to add any notes regarding the transaction. If the evidence was submitted via UPS, for example, the UPS tracking number may be recorded in the Notes field.

To print receipts, place a checkmark in the Print Receipts checkbox (7).

Click Save (8) or Save & Exit when finished.

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