Data Management in Health Research

What Investigators Are Saying About Us: Data Management in Health Research

“I came to EPICORE for help in my first “real”, out of graduate school job. As a Project Coordinator at the Physician Learning Program I was tasked with setting up a quality improvement project to measure surgical prophylaxis practices in both patients with and without a beta-lactam allergy compared to guidelines in the Edmonton Zone. As a part of this role, I was tasked with creating a chart review form and analyzing the resulting data. I had limited previous experience in creating chart review forms in RedCap and had never designed a data collection form before to capture things like medications (including dosing, administration times, and route of administration) and complex surgical procedure descriptions. We were under an immense time pressure for this project and the chart review form was implemented with little testing. Once data collection was complete, I quickly realized the difficulty I was going to have in analyzing the data because of the structure of the data and problems with some of the variables. I had problems with date-time fields (upon requests of the clinical team I had allowed free-text entry of times which ended up being problematic) and the data was all in wide format (I had over 700 columns of variables). I knew that I wanted to restructure the data frame into some sort of a hierarchical or long format, and I knew that I needed to fix several data fields (especially the date-time problem), but wasn’t sure where to start. To be honest, I wasn’t even sure what I was aiming for! I just knew that my data was not structured in the way I had thought it was going to come out and that it was not ideal for analyzing. I met with Lily Yushko on several occasions and she was exceptional to work with. I really liked that she took a teaching approach with me. She respected my existing knowledge and skills, never made me feel dumb, and coached me into our solutions rather than just going ahead and doing it all herself. It was what I learned from Lily that was so valuable to me. Rather than having someone just fix my problem, I actually learned how I could fix my problems myself. I also learned what to do differently in the future. I gained so much more from EPICORE than I had ever imagined I would. They are a truly lovely group of people. It was a real honor to work with them and I would love to work with them again in the future. They are experts in what they do and they really boosted my self-confidence and skills in my work.“

Katelynn Crick Project Coordinator, Physician Learning Program

“We had not used RedCAP previously. The team was instrumental in getting the data collection tools into RedCAP! They asked us some challenging questions about the data collection process. Doing this ‘thinking’ up front has certainly made the study flow more smoothly. I also appreciate how helpful your team has been with assisting with the Data Safety Monitoring Committee meeting, which is coming up shortly. I appreciate working with you and your team!!!”


Dr. Kathryn King-Shier Associate Dean, Graduate Studies Professor, and Guru Nanak Dev Ji DIL Research Chair, Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary