What is it? Why is it important?
The selection of a Clinical Data Management System (CDMS) should be based on:
- The ability to comply with regulatory requirements (e.g. access control, data security (storage, data confidentiality), traceability and change control (audit trail))
- The ability to satisfy additional study requirements (e.g. mono- versus multi-centre studies, randomised and blinded studies)
- User-friendlly (e.g. entry guided navigation, data overview regarding missing data, completed data, and validated data)
- System specifications (e.g. licence costs, provider support, updates and user validation)
Regulatory requirements demand that data protection laws are respected and followed. Thus, a selected CDMS software system should be able to:
- Allocate personalised logins with selective access means to the study database, such as the ability to define and allocate individual roles and rights (e.g. selective access, data entry, validation, read-only, export)
- Track entries and changes to the study database. Thus, information on when and what staff was responsible for a given entry or change is documented on ongoing basis (also referred to as an audit-trail)
- Provide features that facilitate data monitoring processes (e.g. access to central monitoring)
- Allow database lock or freeze in order to prevent unauthorised changes
- Allow the data to be stored on a local server
- Provide for a reliable back-up and recovery system that prevents data loss
Questions to ask when selecting a CDMS:
- System set-up:
Does the system perform according to intended use?
Will the application function as intended in an alternative user environment (e.g. the given network of a local institution)?
- Application during study conduct:
Is functionality assured with consistent intended performance (e.g. access rights, data entry, audit trail)?
What do I need to do?
Based on the risk and complexity of your study, make yourself familiar with the functionality of various CDMSs.
The selected CDMS must be certified prior to being used.
Satisfying regulatory requirements can be labour intensive, expensive, and requires access to professional expertise.
Questions to ask when selecting a CDMS
- Does it fulfil regulatory requirements?
- What specifications must be covered based on the study protocol?
- Can the system recognise and tag missing and implausible data?
- Can computed calculations be controlled for accuracy?
- Where data is stored (e.g. server location)?
- How are back-up, emergencies (shut-down) managed?
- How are multi-centre studies accommodated?
- What are set-up, up-keep, and licence costs?
- How will risk assessment be managed?
- What is the likelihood or frequency of an undesired event?
- The extent to which it can be detected?
- What would be the expected impact on participant safety and reliability of study results?
- Do I have blinded data, and does the system prevent accidental unblinding?
- Can user access to the system be individually granted and removed?
- Is participant identification protected against accidental disclosure?
Where can I get help?
Your local CTU↧ can support you with experienced staff regarding this topic
Basel, Clinical Trials Unit, CTU, dkf.unibas.ch
Bellinzona, Clinical Trials Unit, CTU-EOC, www.ctueoc.ch
Bern, Clinical Trials Unit, CTU, www.ctu.unibe.ch
Geneva, Clinical Research Center, CRC, crc.hug.ch
Lausanne, Clinical Research Center, CRC, www.chuv.ch
St. Gallen, Clinical Trials Unit, CTU, www.kssg.ch
Zürich, Clinical Trials Center, CTC, www.ctc.usz.ch
GCDMP – see in particular
- Chapter “Vendor selection and management” – Recommendations for evaluating and selecting of vendors
ICH GCP E6(R2) – see in particular guidelines
- 5.5 Trial Management, data handling, and record-keeping
Declaration of Helsinki – see in particular principles
- Nr. 9.0 Personal information of research subjects
- Nr. 24 Protection of privacy
- Nr. 36 Publication
ClinO – see in particular article
- Art. 5 Rules of Good Clinical Practice
HRO – see in particular article
- Art. 5 Storage of health-related personal data and biological material