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Milestones Overview

Milestones are used to track the process of completing Requests for analysis on each item of Evidence. Examples of milestones include Request Assigned, Results Entered, Draft Complete, Tech Review, and Admin Review.

Milestones are customized to suit the Laboratory's processes. There are two types of Milestones available - manual and automatic. Manual Milestones require human intervention to be changed, while automatic Milestones are set when a specified activity occurs in the system (such as analysis results being entered into the application). Please also see the Updating Milestones in Batch topic in the User Guide.

Users who will be adding, editing, deleting or viewing Milestones will need to be assigned the Security Roles that have the appropriate permissions set. The permissions related to adding, editing, deleting, and viewing Milestones are:

  • Admin - Demographic | Milestone Checklist - Add
  • Admin - Demographic | Milestone Checklist - Delete
  • Admin - Demographic | Milestone Checklist - Edit
  • Admin - Demographic | Milestone Checklist - View

Please note that the Admin - Demographic | Milestone Checklist - View permission is the permission that determines whether the user is able to access the Milestone Checklist command on the Demographic submenu (ON), or sees a grayed out Milestone Checklist command on the Demographic submenu (OFF). Users cannot add, delete, or edit Milestones if they are not given the associated View permission.

For more information on Permissions and Security Roles, please see those topics.

Pre-Configured Milestones

The following milestones are available in LIMS-plus v5:

Unassigned - This is the first Milestone attached to a Request. This automatic action occurs when a Request is entered into LIMS-plus v5. It means that the Request has not yet been assigned to an analyst. (Automatic)

Assigned - This Milestone occurs when a Request is assigned to an analyst for processing. When the Request is assigned, the system automatically updates to this Milestone. A subset of this Milestone is Notified. The Notified Milestone is automatically updated when an analyst is notified of a newly assigned Request, either when the assignment notifications are printed or when an e-mail is sent via Event Notification. (Automatic)

Findings Entered - This Milestone updates when an analyst enters a result on a Request. (Automatic)

Draft Complete - Generally, an analyst will check this Milestone after findings have been entered and all analyses are complete. This is usually the analyst's final step in processing their portion of the Request. (Manual)

If the assigned analyst wants to edit their findings after the Draft Complete Milestone is marked, he or she will have to "un-draft complete" the Request, returning it to Findings Entered.

Tech Reviewed - This is an optional Milestone for a Laboratory, unless the Laboratory has the Lab option for requiring technical reviews before administrative reviews turned on. The Tech Review has another analyst review someone's work (LIMS-plus v5 does not allow a user to technically review their own work). The Technical Reviewer will have read-only access to the case. If the reviewer believes changes are needed, he or she can use the Reject Findings feature to notify the analyst of the problem. When findings are rejected, the Tech Reviewed Milestone is not reached. (Manual)

Admin Reviewed - Administrative reviews are similar to technical reviews and the Admin Reviewed Milestone works much like the Tech Reviewed Milestone. Both are optional and manually set; however, the system does not prohibit an analyst from administratively reviewing his or her own work. (Manual).

Report Releasable - This is a Request status that is triggered by a previous Milestone, as determined by the system administrator. Based on the Lab's workflow, the Repeat Releasable status can by activated by a Request going to Draft Complete, Tech Reviewed, or Admin Reviewed. It effectively locks everyone except high-level administrators out of a Request's results. (Automatic)

Report Releasable indicates that all analytical processing and reviewing on a Request is complete. If changes are needed on the findings or report, only someone with high-level security access to LIMS-plus v5 can remove this Milestone.

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Setting/Un-Setting Milestones

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As mentioned previously, some Milestones are set automatically, triggered by a specific activity such as assigning a Request or entering findings. Other Milestones are manually set, such as Draft Complete, Tech Reviewed, and Admin Reviewed.

To manually set one of these Milestones:

  1. On the Request tab for the case, left-click once on the Request.
  2. Select the Milestone from the list. In the example above, both the DNA Analysis (where findings are entered) and Draft Complete are manual Milestones.

Set the Draft Complete Milestone

The purpose of the Draft Complete Milestone is to allow the analyst to indicate he or she is finished with the analysis and the final report is ready for review. In order to set this Milestone, the user would select Draft Complete from the Request's left-click menu.

The following rules apply to the Draft Complete Milestone:

  • The Milestone must be currently set to Findings Entered (as shown in the Milestone column) in order to set the Request to Draft Complete.
  • Only the analyst assigned to the Request can set the Milestone to Draft Complete. Anyone who has access to the Service and permission to Un-Complete a Request will be able to un-mark the Request as Draft Complete.
  • If the Laboratory has chosen not to use electronic signatures, as soon as the analyst selects Draft Complete the user will be prompted to confirm that he or she is Draft Completing the Milestone (see image below). (Note that some Laboratories will have Milestones listed in the Milestone Checklist with a checkbox for each additional Milestone.) Once the user has clicked OK (and placed a checkmark in the checkbox for each Milestone activity, if applicable), the Milestone will update to Draft Complete.

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  • The Laboratory has the option to allow electronic signatures at this Milestone. Other options include:

- Allow electronic signatures, but also allow the user to skip the option if necessary.
- Force electronic signatures at this Milestone, which would prevent the user from marking Draft Complete if he or she did not sign the Request electronically.

Please see the Laboratory Options topic for more information about specific options.

Un-Set the Draft Complete Milestone

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Users will often need to correct mistakes related to the results and/or the final report. The Milestone must be set to Findings Entered before the user can perform any edits on the results.

To rollback the Milestone to Findings Entered:

  1. Left-click on the Request that had the Draft Complete Milestone previously set.
  2. Select Undo Draft Complete.
  3. Click OK on the message prompt stating, "Are you sure you want to Undo Draft Complete Activity?"

Report Releasable Milestone at Draft Complete

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Either the Draft Complete, Tech Reviewed, or Admin Reviewed Milestone (or a customized Milestone) can be set as the Releasable Milestone. However, no matter which Milestone is set as the Releaseable Milestone, it may occasionally need to be rolled back.

To rollback the Releasable Milestone, a user with permission must select Un-Release Request from the left-click menu of the specific Request. Caution should be taken when doing this as usually the Releasable Milestone is also the Milestone at which point the final report document is created. If the final report document is created, it is safer to assume that the document has been printed and distributed in some manner, rather than assuming it has not. Users would then need to create a new Request for an amended report.

If Un-Release Request is selected from the Request's left-click menu, the Milestone will then remain Draft Complete but will have a status of In Progress rather than Released. Users will then need to manually rollback to Findings Entered if edits are needed.

Add a Milestone Checklist

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When a user selects the Draft Complete Milestone, the Draft Complete confirmation window can have a checklist with customizable tasks listed that need to be checked off before the user is allowed to confirm the Draft Complete milestone. Milestone Checklists are created from the Milestone Checklist screen, which is reached from the Demographic submenu. They are then added to Draft Complete, Tech Review, and/or Admin review through the Services on the Service Master screen.

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To add a Milestone Checklist, open the Admin menu, go to the Demographic submenu, and select Milestone Checklist. On the Milestone Checklist screen, click the Add Milestone Checklist button (1). Type in the Milestone Checklist item and click Save (2).

Add Milestones to Draft Complete, Tech Review, and Admin Review for a Service

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After Milestone Checklists are added individually on the Milestone Checklist screen, they can be used for Draft Complete, Tech Review, or Admin Review for any Service. To access the Service Master screen, open the Admin menu and select Services. Select a Service from the grid list and click the Edit icon for that Service. The Edit Service window for that Service will open.

In the Edit Service window, all of the available Milestone Checklists appear in the Draft Complete, Tech Review, and Admin Review grid list tables. Place a checkmark in the checkbox next to the Milestone Checklist that will be required at each of these three stages in the workflow. Milestone Checkilsts can be used on all three, or none. Click Save when finished.

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