Creating Anonymized Specimens

Every specimen in LDMS is associated with a group and participant identifier. This information is entered into the patient grid in LDMS Specimen Management . Using this information in conjunction with information from other source could enable a user to determine a participant's real-life identify. For certain work, such as blinded studies, this is a significant problem.

LDMS has a tool for creating specimens that have been stripped of identifying information. This process is called anonymization. Anonymized specimens are new specimens that have had certain identifying information removed; the original specimen is not modified or deleted. The mappings for how anonymized specimens are created are listed below.

Table 1. Anonymized specimen mapping.

This table shows how fields are mapped from an original specimen to the new, anonymized specimen

Original Specimen Field Anonymized Specimen Value
group Changed to ANON
ID2/Study Not modified
PID Random number
Specimen ID New specimen ID assigned
Specimen Date Date of anonymization
Received Date Date of anonymization
Clinic ID empty
Other Specimen ID empty
Comments empty
Global Specimen ID New global specimen ID assigned
Visit Unit Changed to UNK
Visit value Empty
OPID Empty
ID3 Empty
Specimen Time Empty
Processing fields (e.g. frozen date, initials, etc) Empty

Figure: The Anonymization screen. The anonymization screen. Note that some of the right-click menu options (such as Anonymize Aliquot apply to the aliquot that was clicked, not the selected aliquots.

Creating anonymized specimens

  1. Select Administration > Specimen Anonymization from the LDMS menu bar.

  2. Find the specimens that you want to anonymize. There are two ways to do this:

    • Import a text file list of specimen IDs or global specimen IDs.

    • Enter search criteria to find and select the specimens to be anonymized.

  3. To import a list of specimen IDs or global specimen IDs, click the button and select your file. This must be a list of either specimen IDs or global specimen IDs, with one ID per line.

  4. To search for specimens:

    1. Drag the criteria you want to search from the Available Criteria list on the left to the Selection Criteria on the right.

    2. Select or enter a Value for each criteria.

    3. Specify logic for the search in the Criteria Sentence box using the numbers from the Selection Criteria list, using AND, OR, and parenthesis (e.g. 1 AND (2 OR 3)) If no logic is specified, LDMS will default to separating each criteria with AND (i.e. 1 AND 2 AND 3... etc).

    4. Click the button to find aliquots that meet your criteria.


      Specimens that have been shipped, specimens in the ANON group, and specimens with condition codes that indicate the specimen does not exist (e.g. DSR) will not be displayed. Such specimens cannot be anonymized.

  5. Select the aliquots that you would like to anonymize. Hold down the Ctrl and Shift keys to select multiple aliquots.

  6. Click the button below the search results.

  7. You will be prompted if you would like to mark the specimens for shipment. If yes, indicate the intended shipping information.

  8. You will be prompted if you would like to change the derivative type for the anonymized specimens. If yes, select the new derivative type.

  9. You will be prompted if you would like to remove the original specimens from storage and flag them as never store.

  10. You will be prompted if you would like to view a report showing the linking between the original and new specimens that were just anonymized. This information can be obtained later by generated the Anonymous Patient Map report in LDMS Reports.