Online Specimen Tracking

The California Newborn Screening (NBS) Program has implemented the Online Specimen Tracking (OST) System. It was developed so you can ensure every specimen you have collected has reached the screening lab within 2-5 days of being drawn.

Current State Regulations are being modified to require using OST and report a specimen missing by the 7th day of birth if it is not located in OST. The NBS program monitors the usage of OST.

Online Specimen Tracking System Functionality

  • Verification that each NBS specimen drawn at your hospital has arrived at the screening lab.
  • Online ability to report a specimen as missing when it cannot be found in OST. Early reporting will allow for the collection of another specimen in a timely manner if the specimen is truly lost.
  • Online ability to report a specimen not drawn at your facility when it appears on your OST screen in error. Early reporting will prevent a HIPAA violation and makes sure that you are not billed incorrectly.
  • Transitioning from paper forms and OST is the only way to request a duplicate NBS result mailer.

Our Recommendations

  • Verifying your specimens in OST daily provides a safeguard to ensure that all collected specimens are tracked through the screening system and no baby misses immediate health services.
  • Check your birth and transfer logs against OST to make sure you confirm receipt of each specimen sent.
  • Your computer must have Internet Explorer version 8, 9, 10 or 11.
  • Familiarity with computer applications is beneficial to work within OST.
  • Coordination between the Health Information Management, NICU, Laboratory, and Nursing units is beneficial to the efficiency and congruency of tracking NBS specimens and results.

Screening System Information (SIS)

To get your Online Specimen Tracking log-on id, please complete the SIS Access Request and Oath of Confidentiality forms and email or fax to Melinda Szalay.
Email:
Melinda.szalay@cdph.ca.gov
Fax: 510-412-1552

For assistance with OST, email or call Melinda Szalay at 510-412-1586.