19 May ITHS REDCap Tool Thrives During COVID-19
During the COVID-19 pandemic, UW researchers using REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) have found it critical in responding to this public health crisis. REDCap has allowed many projects to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic quickly, as the platform enables researchers to create projects and move into production quickly with minimal required technical knowledge. In the last two months, ITHS REDCap has seen a surge of new users and projects including over 200 projects related to COVID-19.
One of the ways researchers utilize REDCap to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 is monitoring symptoms of essential employees, health workers, and first responders. “When IRB halted in-person visits for research, many research projects were able to switch to or modify their REDCap projects so that data collection could still continue,” shared Ashleigh Lewis, REDCap Administrator at UW Medicine IT Services.
In the last two months, ITHS REDCap has seen a surge of new users and projects including over 200 projects related to COVID-19
WHAT IS REDCAP?
REDCap is a secure web application for building and managing online surveys and databases. It was created in 2004 at Vanderbilt University to support clinical researchers who needed a secure data collection tool that met HIPAA compliance standards.
Today, REDCap is widely used across many consortiums, not-for-profit organizations, and research studies. It is easy to use, secure, and can be used for tracking adverse events, administering multi-site trials, providing operational support, and much more. ITHS has been using this data capture tool since 2009.
ITHS REDCAP & THE SCAN PROJECT
A great project that has been using ITHS REDCap to respond to the COVID-19 health crisis is the Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network or SCAN project. This project led by Public Health Seattle & King County has conducted COVID-19 testing of both healthy and sick people to understand how the virus is spreading in King County. The SCAN team saw the value in using REDCap when using it as part of the Seattle Flu study, and decided to continue using the tool for the SCAN project.
Although testing is currently on hold, the SCAN team was able to use the functionality in REDCap to develop an at home COVID testing workflow that allowed them to track SCAN project participants from the greater Seattle area as part of surveillance of the prevalence of COVID-19 in our community and neighborhoods. “This REDCap project had a number of automations built into it that move participants through their data collection and relay information back to the participants on next steps, requirements, and notifications,” shared Bas de Veer, Bio-Medical Informatics Services Manager at UW Medicine IT Services.
SCAN and ITHS REDCap worked together to find solutions and move this project forward. One of SCAN’s team members shared, “We have had an incredible response to our program from community members, policy makers, and other researchers. ITHS REDCap and the whole ITHS team have been instrumental to the success of this program. Without their efforts to help us find new solutions to many of the challenges we’ve faced, we would not be able to do what we are doing,” shared Misja Ilcisin, Bedford Lab Program Manager at Fred Hutch.
ITHS REDCap and the whole ITHS team have been instrumental to the success of this program. Without their efforts to help us find new solutions to many of the challenges we’ve faced, we would not be able to do what we are doing
All the data is being collected by ITHS REDCap and the findings will help research partners keep people informed and make the best possible, data-driven decisions to protect our community. Big kudos to the ITHS REDCap team for being at the center of the COVID-19 research response.
Although the SCAN project has been put on a temporary hold until further notice, you can still help researchers understand how COVID-19 is spreading by taking their optional community survey available here. Click “Start” toward the middle of the page.
LEARN MORE ABOUT REDCAP
If you would like to learn more about REDCap, you can find all the information you need at ITHS REDCap. ITHS also provides a REDCap Training Series with free webinars for researchers that want to learn how to use this tool for their advantage.