The Primary Grid

The primary grid is the middle portion of the Specimen Management screen. This is where you enter information for the primaries that were processed. The top half is used for entering information for primaries; once they are added, they appear in the bottom half. You can enter as many primaries as you'd like at once, provided that they are for the same participant and the same visit.

Figure: The Primary Grid from the Specimen Management screen

To delete a primary after adding it, select it and click the button.

Times Fields in LDMS

There are several "time" fields in LDMS:

Time Description
Specimen Time Time specimen was collected from study participant
Received Time Time that the specimen was received by the processing laboratory
Processing Time Time that the processing laboratory began processing the specimen into aliquots (i.e. the time that you opened the tube to start processing)
Frozen Time Time that the specimen was placed in a freezer and the freezing process begins
Time See below

The field labeled simply time in the primary grid has several purposes. It can be used to indicate things such as the amount of time it took to process an aliquot, the amount of time a study participant was fasting, and even how many raw samples were pooled together to form the primary.

A separate time field can also be found in the patient details window. The possible time unit values for this field are identical to the one found in the primary grid.

The Time field is typically used when testing pharmacology specimens. You can use the primary comments (found by clicking the Details button for the primary) to clarify how the time field was used, if necessary.

Some of the information you specify for primaries can be cascaded to derived aliquots. For example, if you had difficulty collecting a blood draw from a participant, and only collected about 80% of the tube, you can change that primary's Cond[ition Code] to SHV (short volume), and then cascade that condition code to aliquots. This will help show why the volume for each aliquot is slightly less than what would typically be collected for that visit. Cascading information from the primary to aliquots applies to Cond[ition Code], Other Spec[imen] ID, and much of the information in the window. LDMS will automatically prompt you if a change to the primary can be cascaded.

Figure: Primary Details window. The Primary Details Window. Here, you can enter comments and set conditions that can be inherited by aliquots, and specify who processed the primary into aliquots and when.


Specimen comments are included when shipping specimens to another laboratory. They are also included with specimen records that are exported to Frontier Science. For this reason, comments should never contain protected health information or personal identifying information like a participant's name.

A key feature on this screen is the ability to send ambient shipments. Ambient shipment is the only way to ship a primary without creating aliquots (the name "ambient shipment" refers to the fact that it is shipped immediately after collection, usually at room temperature, instead of being frozen). To do this, change Ambient Ship to Sent, and then select the intended destination laboratory from the Ship To drop-down list. This will change the primary's status to sent in LDMS.

This method of shipping a primary has a significant disadvantage: you can't add the primary's information to a shipping file, meaning the destination laboratory can't import it; they have to re-enter the specimen information and manually enter the Specimen ID. The primary will also have a different global specimen ID at your laboratory and the receiving laboratory.

To ship a primary in LDMS in such a way that it can be added to a shipping file, create an aliquot with the exact same volume, derivative, etc as the primary you are shipping, then ship that aliquot like you would any other aliquot. This is referred to as creating a ghost aliquot.