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The Process of Installing REDCap, a Web Based Database Supporting Biomedical Research

Journal: Applied Clinical Informatics
ISSN: 1869-0327
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4338/ACI-2014-06-CR-0054
Issue: Vol. 5: Issue 4 2014
Pages: 916-929

The Process of Installing REDCap, a Web Based Database Supporting Biomedical Research

The First Year

Research Article

M. Klipin (1), I. Mare (2), S. Hazelhurst (3), B. Kramer (4)

(1) Department of Surgery, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa; (2) Department of Radiation Oncology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa; (3) School of Electrical and Information Engineering, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa; (4) Health Sciences Research Office, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa

Keywords

Medical Informatics, Clinical Research, electronic data capture, Translational research, database management systems

Summary

Background: Clinical and research data are essential for patient care, research and healthcare system planning. REDCapTM is a web-based tool for research data curatorship developed at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, USA. The Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg South Africa identified the need for a cost effective data management instrument. REDCap was installed as per the user agreement with Vanderbilt University in August 2012.

Objectives: In order to assist other institutions that may lack the in-house Information Technology capacity, this paper describes the installation and support of REDCap and incorporates an analysis of user uptake over the first year of use.

Methods: We reviewed the staffing requirements, costs of installation, process of installation and necessary infrastructure and end-user requests following the introduction of REDCap at Wits. The University Legal Office and Human Research Ethics Committee were consulted regarding the REDCap end-user agreement. Bi-monthly user meetings resulted in a training workshop in August 2013. We compared our REDCap software user numbers and records before and after the first training workshop.

Results: Human resources were recruited from existing staff. Installation costs were limited to servers and security certificates. The total costs to provide a functional REDCap platform was less than $9000. Eighty-one (81) users were registered in the first year. After the first training workshop the user numbers increased by 59 in one month and the total number of active users to 140 by the end of August 2013. Custom software applications for REDCap were created by collaboration between clinicians and software developers.

Conclusion: REDCap was installed and maintained at limited cost. A small number of people with defined skills can support multiple REDCap users in two to four hours a week. End user training increased in the number of users, number of projects created and the number of projects moved to production.

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