Clinical Research Support

The Division of Biomedical Informatics supports clinical and translational researchers with tasks such as:

  • Web site design and development -- see our web hosting page for details
  • Group collaboration and resource management -- see our collaboration tools page for details
  • Web-based-forms/electronic data capture systems development -- more details on this page, below
  • i2b2 Research data warehouse -- see the i2b2 warehouse web site for more information about using this resource for hypothesis generation, cohort identification, retrospective data analysis and more
  • Database design and reporting -- see our database servers page for a list of options
  • Commercial and open-source software evaluation/acquisition -- see our software page for a complete list of available packages

Options for data collection

Clinical and translational researchers at Cincinnati Children's and UC have several options for study data collection:

TeleForm®: paper-based data collection

TeleForm is software for creating paper-based forms that, upon completion, are faxed or scanned to a system that allows for automated and human validation before responses are stored in a database. At Cincinnati Children's, the Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology (DBE) maintains this resource. If you are interested in using TeleForm for your study, contact Rachel Akers, DBE.

REDCap: simple, no-frills web-based forms

REDCap is a software toolset developed by Vanderbilt University and now available to the research community through the Informatics Working Group. REDCap is designed for creating no-frills, web-based forms for small- to medium-sized (typical GCRC) clinical research studies. By relying on data dictionaries, or study metadata, REDCap aims to be customizable on a study-by-study basis without the need for extensive programming. The General Clinical Research Center at Cincinnati Children's is responsible for setting up studies in REDCap. For more information, contact help-redcap@bmi.cchmc.org.

InfoPath®/SharePoint®: moderately complex web-based forms with workflow

Microsoft offers two companion technologies, InfoPath and SharePoint, that can be used to meet clinical researchers' needs for electronic data capture. InfoPath 2007 is a product from Microsoft that enables you to create web-based forms without any knowledge of programming or web design. SharePoint is a platform for hosting InfoPath forms and attaching workflows to them.

Key benefits of InfoPath include the ability to:

  • Import Word/Excel forms
  • Insert text boxes, drop-down lists, check boxes, option buttons and other controls
  • Define skip and repeat patterns
  • Add rules and data validation to reduce post-processing
  • Create screen and printer-friendly views
  • Attach workflows for routing forms

If you are interested in developing a study using InfoPath/SharePoint, contact Ron Bryson or Keith Marsolo, BMI.

Custom applications: highly complex forms, web-based or stand-alone

Sometimes REDCap, TeleForm and InfoPath/SharePoint cannot meet an investigator's needs -- for example, when forms are highly complex or when neither paper nor web-based forms are desired.  In these cases, BMI can develop a custom software application using technologies such as ASP.NET WebForms, Flash® and PHP. Contact Ron Bryson or Keith Marsolo for details.

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