Implementer experiences: Physical properties of a specimen

We’d like to hear from implementers and others regarding the ‘Physical properties of an object’ archetype (

We’ve taken it through one review round, but we’ve found that it tries to incorporate too many concepts, and our only use case that we’re sure of is for documenting the volume, mass and physical properties of a specimen removed from the body.

After some discussion we’ve come to the conclusion that the scope becomes much more manageable if we restrict it to ‘Physical properties of a specimen’. We’ve been in contact with pathologists who have use cases for this concept, particularly for macroscopic descriptions. But the most common use case is probably for blood samples where you need to record the volume of the sample, to be able to tell whether specimen collection procedures have been followed, and to dilution problems with the additive of the container. In addition, it can be used to calculate whether there’s enough material for all the ordered tests, and possibly for calculating the number of specimen tubes that need to be collected when ordering.

So our question is, would it be more appropriate to add the ‘Specimen volume’ element to the ‘Specimen’ archetypes, since it’s the most commonly used element? Or should we keep the volume, mass, and physical dimensions together in this ‘Physical properties of a specimen’ archetype to be used within the ‘Specimen’ archetype?

If we keep them all together, all the elements can be used in any appropriate context where the archetype may be slotted in, but 90 % of the time it’ll need to be constrained down to remove the elements which are irrelevant for the use case.

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I’d certainly be happy to see it refer only to specimen and TBH I think having the specific archetype feel like an overhead better managed by just adding volume element to the specimen archetype, along with another metrics inline. It seemed a good idea at the time but …

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