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How Electronic Data Capture Improves Data Quality In Clinical Research Studies

For those who have yet to familiarize themselves with the concept of electronic data capture or EDC, it is a software that collects and stores any patient data gathered during clinical trials. Typically, this data would first be recorded on paper by filling up forms and other similar methods. The data is then transcribed into the system and saved for later.

More traditionally, paper records are kept instead of electronic ones. From a practicality standpoint, this makes sense as it enables people to access the files even without a computer or an internet connection. However, think about those records in terms of bulk. Of course, in time, it will pile up and theres only so much physical space in which these files can be stored in.

Clinical Data Solutions Should You Consider It?

This is the reason why more and more clinical trials are making the switch to using the EDC software when it comes to storing their records. It is more convenient and easily accessible especially since most offices already have computers and internet connection these days. Look at the video below for more details:

Contract research organizations (aka CROs), sponsors, and various related websites have all adopted the use of electronic data capture systems when it comes to the different phases of their research.

While there are plenty of different clinical trial management system vendors out there, even more organizations are simply building their own in-house ones which they are able to customize according to their needs. These systems can carry a varying number and type of features, but the general idea is that they help with streamlining data collection.

Clinical Data Management Benefits of EDC

- Ease of access when it comes to the data. Instead of having to rifle through countless folders and drawers filled with records, having an electronic data capture system can make the process much quicker. Not only will this save you a lot of time, it would also give you real-time access to the data. Any edits made to it could be applied within seconds and the entire system would reflect it.

There is a learning curve associated with the use of EDCs, but this isnt something that would take a person months to learn. In fact, a few hours of training should suffice when it comes to learning how to effectively make use of these eClinical solutions.

- Improved Security. Physical records can be easily pocketed and stolen. This is a fact. However, having your records encrypted in a computer or on a web-based interface where it can be protected by various security software makes it just a bit harder for a second party to get to.

Considering the often sensitive nature of the data collected in a clinical trial software, youll be guaranteed that these would be given multi-layered protection and then backed up in case the original gets corrupted or deleted.

This is one of the best things about encrypted files, you can make as many copies as you want and store them wherever you feel confident in. There are also filters when it comes to the different actions each user has. Levels of access can be set and you can designate permissions for every person who can open the files.

- Ease of Organization. Can you imagine yourself sorting through documents and folders physically? A few pages or even folders should be easy to handle, but what about hundreds? Thousands? Even the mere thought is daunting.

This isnt something you need to worry about if youre using EDC, however. It provides you with a user-friendly navigation system and search option which should enable you to find exactly what you need within seconds. Youll have everything right at your fingertips.

- Affordability. In terms of price, a typical EDC system can be yours for free or for a set amount. The pricing would vary according to the vendor youre getting it from and any features you might want to add to it.

The basic system is very affordable and would organize everything for you in a jiffy. However, most companies would require certain add-ons which are tailored to their needs.

For example: additional search filters, extra services from the vendor when it comes to maintenance or set-up, and other encryption needs. When purchasing a clinical trial management software, think of it as an investment.

This kind of software is something that youll need to use a significant amount of money for at first. In the long run, however, it would help you save more than the initial investment.

Is It Worth The Money?

Theres this old saying that says Time is Gold and for many businesses, this is true. Every minute wasted on something as mundane as finding records can cost someone hundreds of money. Why settle for something slow and old-fashioned when there is a faster, more convenient way of doing things?

Its only logical to make the switch. So, should you go for it? If you have the resources for it, even just a basic electronic data capture system is well worth the money. When you streamline the way you do things, its positive results will manifest in improvement and growth.

References:

http://forteresearch.com/news/beginners-guide-electronic-data-capture-edc-system/

http://forteresearch.com/news/advantages-of-edc-over-other-methods-for-data-capture/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_data_capture

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