News and recent enhancements to eLEXNET


    • New September 2017: Release v27.2

      • Minor fixes to the File Upload module, the processing of data files (Data Exchange) and to the Lab Mapping tool.

      • Synchronized all user accounts

    • August 2017: Release v27.1

      • Conducted bi-annual FACTS synchronization of test methods. A total of 1,017 new test methods have been added to eLEXNET.

      • Minor fixes to the Manual Data Entry module, to the Lab and User Directories, and to the processing of data files (Data Exchange).

      • Performance fixes to the Lab Directory page.

    • July 2017: Release v27.0

      • Enhanced the system to accept larger data files (over 4 MB in size).

      • Introduced a new Lab Administrator role that allows designated lab individuals, such as Lab Directors and/or Lab Primary/Secondary POCs to update their lab profile information directly in eLEXNET instead of having to request these updates from the eLEXNET Help Desk.

      • Conducted bi-annual FACTS synchronization of analytes. 222 new analytes were added to eLEXNET.

      • Minor fixes for eLEXNET business rules.

      • Simplified Data Exchange server architecture for more efficient data file processing.

      • For added security and reliability, upgraded the Oracle database to 11.2.0.4.

    • June 2017: Release v26.2

      • Enhanced the Lab Directory with a new pop-up functionality to view lab information by hovering your mouse over the lab names, on the Lab Directory screen.

      • Enhanced the Lab Directory with an FERN indicator next to labs that were created in fernlab.org.

      • Eliminated notification e-mails for empty FDA XML files.

      • Minor bug fixes to the User Directory page, processing of Quantitative Units and .spp analytes in samples.

    • May 2017: Release v26.1

      • Conducted bi-annual FACTS synchronization of Products.

      • Added new filters to the My Lab’s Files and Lab Directory screens, to facilitate searches.

      • Enhanced the data submission error logs to only show errors causing rejections, by default.

      • Cleaned up and removed several lab duplicate entries from eLEXNET.

      • Minor bug fixes to the Manual Data Entry functionality and to the XML submission functionality.

    • April 2017: Release v26.0.2

      • Updated the Lab Directory to allow sorting and categorization of labs. Additionally we have also displayed important lab-specific information.

      • Conducted an audit of all the participating labs and eliminated duplicates.

      • Enhanced the Data submission status emails to include important information regarding the labs submission.

    • March 2017: Release v26.0.1

      • Enhanced the Web Upload for individual lab (My Lab’s Files) and introduced an Admin view for all lab submissions.

      • Fine-tuned the DX Utility processing.

      • Implemented an email blast system to allow eLEXNET to send mass emails to users.

      • Added a ‘Contact Us’ link with the Help Desk contact information on all the eLEXNET screens.

    • January 2017: Release v25.0

      • Rolled out a new self-service file upload functionality which allows users to upload data files and check their status directly in eLEXNET

      • Enhanced validations of submitted Excel and XML files, with notifications for failures

      • Enhanced submissions of Excel files to accept different versions of Excel files

      • Redesigned the data validation framework to increase the accuracy and transparency when data errors are reported

    • November 2016: Release v24.9

      • Fixed a defect that archived user accounts whose passwords weren’t changed within 24 hours after resetting

      • Updated the error message that displays when users attempt to log in with an invalid username

      • Rolled out a new set of notification messages to inform users who have submitted analytes or products for FDA review

      • Updated the Data Submission Setup Tool to enable sorting of analytes

      • Updated the COMPACT Advanced Search module to allow searching by labs that submitted COMPACT methods

      • Synchronized the Reason Collected and Quantitative Units reference data from FACT

    • October 2016: Release v24.8

      • Added 800+ new FDA-approved methods to eLEXNET

      • Updated the Data Submission Setup Tool with mapping history information for each mappings, as well as with links to lab profiles

      • Made changes to eLEXNET password requirements and timeframe for account archival (60 days from 90 days previously)

      • Installed a Drupal Security Patch

      • Updated to the eLEXNET homepage

    • September 2016: Release v24.7

      • Added over 350 new FDA-approved analytes to eLEXNET, which will result in reduced sample rejection due to analyte mismatches

      • Rolled out a new automated notification mechanism to alert labs when they stop submitting data to eLEXNET

      • Updated the eLEXNET homepage



Future Improvements


There are a number of improvements planned for eLEXNET for the upcoming year. This includes upgrading our underlying database and community platforms to latest version of software products for improved performance and security, increasing stability of data exchange platform, enhancing reporting tools (IDAT), adding alert mechanism and improving error notifications to help labs with their data submission. If you have other improvement ideas or just want to get information, please contact the eLEXNET Help Desk.


Events


In March and June 2017, we held two online eLEXNET trainings that covered a wide range of eLEXNET topics. Below are the links for both of these trainings, in case you’d like to play them :

In the summer of 2016, the eLEXNET team conducted in-person hands-on training and live demo of the system with five participating state and federal labs from different regions of the US. The one or two day training included additional participation from area labs, epidemiologists and risks assessors. The goals for the lab visits focused on training and raising awareness of system features, as well as developing relationships and resolving any existing issues or challenges the lab currently faces with eLEXNET. Below is a list of the labs visited:

  • Colorado Department of Agriculture
  • Connecticut Agriculture Experiment Station
  • Hawaii Department of Health State Laboratory
  • Texas Department of State Health Services
  • Nevada State Public Health Laboratory

Lab participants were overall very satisfied with the in-person hands-on training and live demo of the system, stating that what they learned was useful to their work, especially the Interactive Data Analysis Tool (IDAT) Reporting feature. These lab visits allowed us to better understand the lab's daily operations and collect new requirements for the system. In addition, the eLEXNET team also conducted quarterly webinar trainings provided to the wider eLEXNET users, as well as on-demand webinar training for individual lab's needs. The FDA will use the information collected from the visits and webinars to make enhancements to the system and the eLEXNET team will continue to strengthen relationships with all the labs in the program to improve the system and the user experience with the program.