Avoiding Common Pitfalls in REDCap By J. Kevan Essmyer Special Thanks to Jack Baty REDCap Goals Easy to use Metadata Driven Adaptable Features Data entry validation Self service tool Public HTTPS Access Biostatistics Secure Domain Tiresias Server File Server Authenticated Access Sync MySQL Server WUCON Sidedoor Server Data Entry /Admin WEB Server MySQL Slave Server Host Server Project Creation Flow Chart Create Project –Project Name, Longitudinal or CrossSectional/ Survey MoveMove to Production to Production Status on Production Status and start Server Dataand start Data Collection Collection Excel Spreadsheet Or Online Form Designer Data Entry Forms Add Users and Set User Rights Define Study Events (Longitudinal) add Schedule (optional) REDCap Best Practices for Data Collection of Clinical Trials The Why? Design better studies Utilize previously proven techniques and forms Effeciencies Costs of not following good guidelines The When? Data form should be developed during the Protocol design and development, not afterward The What? Design forms to capture the pertinent and necessary information Define variables, classes, elements and attributes as well as labels Define workflows and timelines for the data capture (https://sweb.biostat.lan/wiki/index.php/Best_Practices) (https://sidedoor.biostat.wustl.edu/wiki/index.php/Best_Practices) Production Server “Real Data” http://www.biostat.wustl.edu/redcap REDCap Project Request form (Fax or email) Sponsoring PI IRB Approval or Waiver Only PI or Project Admin can create projects Production “Status” Data Dictionary Changes saved Review of submitted changes to avoid unintended data corruption Delete all records function disallowed Common Pitfalls Deleting Records Deleting Events Renaming Fields Corrupting Data Through Enumeration Changes Moving to Production Status Too Early Exotic Meta-Characters Project Account Request Paperwork Calculated fields Deleting Records Record Deletion in REDCap is “record” based not “form” based Removing a records removes all associated forms within the current treatment arm Current solution(s): Export Data Delete Re-Import record (not the entire database) Contact Administrators Target Form Forms Actually Deleted Target Form Forms Actually Deleted Delete Record button located at bottom of REDCap forms Feature should be turned off when not needed Deleting Events (Longitudinal) Events lists in REDCap are auto-numbered unlike form fields. Removed fields can be restored by creating the same variable again. Removed Events cannot be restored without administrator help. Changes to Event grids can now only be performed by the REDCap administrators Renaming Form Fields Form field names are linked directly to REDCap data values ????? Changing field names results in new variables. Data will still be linked to the old variable name. Data must be transferred to the new variable Manual entry Data Export / Import Restoring the original field name will restore access to the data. !!!First data field in the first form is the project data index!!! Renaming this field will cause all existing data to be in accessible. Date fields not recommended here. Old variable name Blood_draw 1/20/2011 New variable names Blood_draw_1 Blood_draw_2 Blood_draw_3 Corrupting Data Through Enumeration Changes Dropdown list and Radio Button enumeration Dropdown list or set of radio buttons can be in any order regardless of the numeric value assigned. For example, they can have 1=Yu 3=Kevan 2=Jack Choices will show in the order declared rather than numeric order. Danger -- Overwriting Choices Safer Option 1=Yu 3=Bobby 2=Jack 1=Yu 3=Kevan 2=Jack 4=Bobby Better Option -- Overwriting Choices 10=Yu 20=Jack 25=Bobby 30=Kevan Moving to Production Status Too Early Testing Forms! Critical both for avoiding delays and preventing data errors Test data is recommended to test calculated fields and branching logic Branching logic Errors can disable forms and inadvertently Erase data. REDCap Deletes existing data in hidden fields. Use <>” ” Production Status on the Production Server Changes to forms must be approved by Administrators before they are committed to the project. Changes to the Forms/ Event Grid must be preformed by the Administrators. Branching logic warning about hiding existing data Can be a dangerous situation and is best avoided. Exotic Metacharacters Non-standard symbolic characters typically used by office software such as MS Word. Usually benign but can sometimes cause problems with the data dictionary Best to avoid using these Characters Alternatives HTML Codes for field label display. Comma -, @ -@ Project Account Request Paperwork Project Request Form Required for Each IRB Study in REDCap Identifies the PI and Project Administrators Used to verify request for project access in special cases. Person who setup the project leaves their position PI wants to gain access to their project data REDCap Administrator is requested to make design changes to the project Reminder that data collection is regulated by the appropriate IRB not REDCap. Calculations Calculations should be considered a tool not data. Calculation should be reapplied during data analysis. Multiple calculations on a form. Order of execution is determined by the alphabetical ordering of it’s associated variable/field name. Calculation 1 [weight_met] =[weight]*.45359237 Calculation 2 [BMI]=[weight_met]/([height]^2) !!!Calculation 2 will occur before calculation 1 Calculate BMI in one step (Best Solution) or Rename variable to change order (only other option) “?!!?” User Rights REDCap Lifelines Built-in tutorial videos Built-in Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) guide Demonstration Databases (Some Online, more to come) WUSM Biostat REDCap Email Help Queue [[email protected]] Monitored by 4 to 5 Administrators REDCap Email Support [email protected] REDCap Goals Deleting Records -- Becareful!! Record based Deleting Events -- Makes all existing event data inaccessible Renaming Fields – Creates new variable and hides data Corrupting Data Through Enumeration Changes Moving to Production Status Too Early Exotic Meta-Characters Project Account Request Paperwork Calculated fields Questions?