CSTOR Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Submitters
CSTOR General Information
What is CSTOR (CDC Specimen Test Order and Reporting) Web Portal?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is excited to introduce the CDC Specimen Test Order and Reporting Web Portal (CSTOR, pronounced SEE-store), a central online gateway for CDC Infectious Disease (ID) Laboratory Partners to submit specimens and access test results and reports. Please refer to the CSTOR Web Portal page for additional information.
Who can submit via CSTOR?
Submitters can be anyone who is approved as a primary submitter (i.e., global submitter) to the CDC. For those who are interested in submitting, but are not yet approved as a global submitter, please contact the Infectious Diseases Specimen Submission (IDSS) Help Desk.
Can you have more than one user in CSTOR?
Yes, you can have as many users/administrators in CSTOR as desired, as long as there are always at least two active Lab Administrators. To onboard the initial two laboratory administrators, please contact the CSTOR Team. Once the initial two laboratory administrators are onboarded, they can add as many lab users or other lab admins as needed in the ‘Manage Organization’ module within CSTOR.
Do I have to pay to onboard or use CSTOR?
CSTOR is available at no-cost to CDC Infectious Disease (ID) Laboratory Partners.
What is the difference between the Lab Administrator and Lab User roles in CSTOR?
Lab Administrators can do all the same actions for specimen submission and accessing reports as CSTOR users, but they have added access to the CSTOR ‘Manage Organization’ module where they can add/remove users in their CSTOR organization and edit the organization level information.
How do I access the CSTOR Web Portal?
Once fully onboarded, you can access the CSTOR Web Portal here or under “My Applications” once logged in on your Secure Access Management Services (SAMS) account.
Where can I find CSTOR training material?
CSTOR training material can be found by clicking on the question icon icon in the top right-hand corner (next to the user’s name) within the CSTOR web portal. Training materials include both written user guides and CSTOR demos. If you have any additional questions not addressed in the training materials, please contact the CSTOR Team.
Who do I contact about questions on shipment, specimens, etc.?
For test order specific questions, reach out to the Test Order Point of Contact listed within the test order’s entry in the Test Order Directory. For general questions, please email the CSTOR Team.
How do I know whether a Test Order is auto-approved or requires pre-approval? What does this mean?
Whether a test order is auto-approved or requires pre-approval is noted within the CDC Test Directory in the ‘CDC Pre-Approval Needed’ field. The test order’s directory page is linked in the draft ‘Test Order Request’ (TOR) grid by a blue informational question circle solid icon [i] icon in the ‘Create New Test Order Request’ module within CSTOR. If a test is auto-approved, you will immediately receive approval and will be allowed to input specimen information. If a test requires pre-approval, the TOR will be ‘Pending’, and you must wait until approval is granted before starting to input specimen information.
What happens when I create and submit a CSTOR Test Order Request (TOR) that is auto-approved?
If approval is not required (i.e., auto-approved) for the Test Order Request (TOR), the TOR will automatically appear as ‘Approved’ in CSTOR. You may continue with the submission process by finding the TOR in the ‘Approved Test Order Requests’ tab in the ‘Submit Specimens’ module and using one of our three specimen information import methods.
What happens when a I create and submit a CSTOR Test Order Request (TOR) that requires pre-approval?
For Test Orders that require prior approval, submitting your Test Order Request (TOR) will trigger an email to be generated to the Test Order’s Point of Contact to initiate a review of your TOR, and your TOR will be in a ‘Pending’ status. CDC Test Order Point of Contacts (POCs) will have the opportunity to approve (with additional comments) or reject (with required comments). This approval process is managed within the Enterprise Laboratory Information Management System (ELIMS) through the ‘Test Order Requests’ application. When your request is approved or rejected, you will receive an email alert. If approved, the TOR will appear in the ‘Approved Test Order Requests’ tab in the ‘Submit Specimens’ module and you may then continue with the specimen submission process in CSTOR.
Does everyone in my organization receive email notifications after creating a Test Order Request (TOR)?
Currently system notifications only go to the individual that created the test order. However, all users can see TORs in the ‘Organization Test Orders’ tab in the ‘Check Status’ module.
How do I know which specimen submission fields are required for the Test Order that I am submitting?
What information is required for a Test Order is noted within the CDC Test Directory in the ‘Supplemental Information Required’ field. The Test Order’s directory page is linked in the draft specimen grid by a blue informational [i] icon in the ‘Submit Specimens’ module within CSTOR.
Does CSTOR validate incoming data?
CSTOR retains the same validation as found on the 50.34 Specimen Submission Form and the Global File Accessioning Template (GFAT), which includes drop-down lists for some field values and formatting requirements for fields such as dates, times, etc.
If I submitted the Test Order Request (TOR), can my colleague fill out and submit the specimen submission information or prepare the package for shipment?
Yes, colleagues in your organization can access Test Order Requests (TORs) you’ve submitted in the ‘Organization’s Requests’ tab within the ‘Approved Test Order Requests’ page in the ‘Submit Specimens’ module, allowing a colleague to submit specimen submission information for a TOR that you submitted. Anyone in your organization can then have access to any specimens created in the ‘Ship Package’ module, allowing seamless cooperation between colleagues.
Can I include supplemental files with my submission?
Yes, there are currently two options to upload supplemental files:
- At the Test Order Request level
- At the Specimen Level
What happens if a package was addressed to the wrong laboratory?
If a package was shipped to the correct shipping address but with the wrong laboratory labeled, CDC Specimen Triage and Tracking (STAT) laboratory is able to correct the label and direct the package to the correct laboratory.
Can CSTOR be used to ship specimens to the CDC in Atlanta and other locations?
Yes. CSTOR can be used to submit specimens to the Atlanta, Fort Collins, and San Juan CDC locations.
When do I receive a notification from CSTOR via email?
You will receive an email notification if you have a “Needs Attention” tile for your Test Order Request (TOR), or when the corresponding CDC test laboratory approves or needs more information from your order.
Will I receive a notification when the package is received?
You do not receive a notification from CSTOR when the package has been received by the CDC Specimen Triage and Tracking (STAT) laboratory. To see if your package has been received, log into CSTOR and check the package status in the ‘Check Status’ module under the ‘Packages’ tab or check directly with your courier.
How can I review and export results using CSTOR?
Once specimen test results and reports are approved for release, they can be accessed through the CSTOR ‘View Reports’ module. All reports that are approved for eReporting can also be viewed on CSTOR, regardless of whether the specimens were submitted using CSTOR. To export results, highlight the desired rows and click the ‘Export Selected Rows’ button. To view or download a copy of the PDF report, click on the [paper] icon in the far right of the desired row.
Can I hide reports that have already been viewed?
Yes, you can archive reports that have already been viewed. In the ‘View Reports’ module on CSTOR, select the [eye] icon to hide a report from view from everyone in your organization’s ‘View Reports’ grid. To see all reports in your grid, including those hidden from view, select the “Include Hidden Reports” checkbox in the top right corner.
Where will I have access to my reports?
You will have access to eReports in parallel to both CSTOR and the inbox you have set up for eReporting. You will have to decrypt the eReports in your inbox as usual, but also can have access without decryption to reports from within the ‘View Reports’ module in CSTOR.
Why is my report not showing up in CSTOR?
There are several reasons your report might not be showing up in CSTOR:
- Check to make sure that the “Include Hidden Reports” checkbox is selected in case one of your colleagues has hidden the report from view.
- Only reports that are eReported are available within CSTOR. When searching for older reports, if the report was not originally released electronically (even if that laboratory’s reports are now released electronically), only reports after the laboratory switched to eReporting are viewable within CSTOR.
You may also view the View Reports User Guide within the CSTOR Training and Helpful Resources page for more information. If you are still struggling to find your report, reach out to the CSTOR Team.
CSTOR Laboratory Administrators
How do I request to add a new user in my organization?
You can add or remove users through the CSTOR ‘Manage Organization’ module. You can select ‘Add User’ and complete the required fields. You may also view the Manage Organization User Guide within the CSTOR Training and Helpful Resources page for more information.
Can I remove a laboratory administrator from my organization?
Yes, laboratory administrators can remove users from the organization, including other laboratory administrators as long as there are always at least two laboratory administrators active in CSTOR.