Central Services staff members in both Coralville and Ankeny provide support for the entire laboratory, including the purchase, tracking and distribution of supplies necessary for laboratory testing, and the processing of both incoming and outgoing packages and correspondence. Team members are certified in Hazmat shipping requirements for select packages, and a select group of specially trained personnel performs necropsy work to assist with rabies testing.
Central Services also creates and distributes analytical test collection kits to clients throughout Iowa and other states. In fiscal year 2013, that amounted to more than 100,000 kits for both environmental and public health testing. These include collection kits for influenza, blood lead, water testing and parasitology, as well as the collection cards for newborn screening. In support of the Iowa Neonatal Screening Program, the Ankeny Lab alone sent more than 23,000 pamphlets, 84,000 blood spot collection forms and 27,000 envelopes to facilities throughout Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota.
A major initiative for Central Services in fiscal 2013 was the integration of the EPA's three-year sampling project known as Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule 3 (UCMR3) into its packaging and shipping process as well as into OpenELIS, the electronic information system used by the Hygienic Laboratory.
The Safe Drinking Water Act amendments require EPA to issue, every five years, a new list of 30 unregulated contaminants to be monitored by public water systems for the protection of public health. The third list, UCMR 3 published in 2012, includes 30 contaminants (28 chemicals and two viruses).
- UCMR3 kit orders are more complex in preparation because of the packaging requirements to safely ship the sample collection containers with different chemical additives. The requirements are mandated by 49 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations), the government's regulations for transportation by domestic highway or rail. As an aid to navigate through this added complexity, Central Services produced an OpenELIS "Build Kit Guide."
- Central Services also converted all inventory into the UI PeopleSoft Inventory System. This automated ordering system will reduce the amount of laboratory reagents and supplies kept onsite. It also allows the Hygienic Laboratory to more effectively track and manage expenses related to the thousands of different types of supplies used in a highly complex laboratory.