Top 5 Aspects Of Clinical Data Management

From an ethical standpoint, drug developers should make sure the information provided to regulatory agencies is conclusive. It facilitates effective treatment choices and ultimately has an impact on patient health. The accuracy of the clinical trial data is essential for this. Researchers must use clinical data management tools to manage clinical trial data properly to provide this quality data.

Clinical data management in clinical trials

For managing many different types of data, especially in multi-center trials, the Clinical Data Management System (CDMS) has become crucial. The clinical data management process must begin early to achieve a successful clinical trial outcome. You must take into account several CDM-related factors in this.

Which are Clinical Data Management’s (CDM) top 5 features?

Clinical Data Management top five facets include;

  1. Crucial team members
  2. Data Management Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)
  3. Process for Clinical Data Management (CDM)
    • Plan for Data Validation (DVP)
    • Discrepancy Control (DM)
  4. Medical Coding
  5. Quality
    • Exemplary QA (Quality Assurance)
    • QC (Quality Control) (Quality Control)

In addition to the mentioned elements, several others include;

  1. Locking
  2. Data entry
  3. Using electronic data capture (EDC)

To fully comprehend clinical data management, let’s go through each component in depth since they are all essential for an effective CDM.

Team members and their roles in clinical trial data handling

Effective data management requires the following people to operate each function methodically.

  1. Clinical Data Associate
  2. Quality Assurance Associate
  3. Developer/Programmer (Database)
  4. Data Manager
  5. Medical Coding Associate

Let’s examine the duties and obligations of each team member.

Data Manager

  • Setting up the Data Management Platform and supervising the CDM procedure are the responsibilities of a data manager.
  • Additionally, he approves all internal documentation for data management and CDM protocols.

Administrator of databases

  • The person who works with the software databases to find ways to store, administer, organize, debug, maintain databases, and manage clinical trial data.

Developer/Programmer of databases

  • The person who develops the research does the Case Report Form (CRF) and programs the edit checks for data validation is the database developer/programmer.
  • Additionally, he is in charge of creating the database’s data entry screens and testing the edit checks using fake data.

Associate in clinical data

  • The Clinical Data Associate (CDA) or Clinical Data Coordinator (CDC), who also produces the Data Validation Plan (DVP) and maintains the discrepancies, is responsible for creating the Case-Report Form (CRF).
  • Additionally, the CDA creates the paperwork and checklists.

Associate in quality assurance

  • The quality control associate performs data audits and verifies the accuracy of data entry.
  • Additionally, the quality control associate confirms the documentation of the required procedures.
  • The data entry team enters the information into the database and monitors the arrival of CRF pages.

Healthcare coding specialist

  • The medical coder gives codes for diagnoses and operations using ICD (International Classification of Diseases), CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) codes, or other related platforms.
  • The medical coder will perform data management coding for adverse events, medical history, co-illnesses, and concurrent medications taken during the research.

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for clinical trial data handling

  • Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are uniformly written instructions that detail the actions, procedures, and practices we need to carry out during clinical research.
  • These SOPs are crucial to clinical research because they manage the regular procedures and duties needed to carry out clinical research by institutional, federal, and state regulations.
  • The SOPs should provide enough information to walk the research staff through a specific method, which promotes uniformity throughout the department’s daily operations. Each SOP will have a distinct objective.

Clinical investigations frequently employ the following SOPs.

  • Shape design (Paper-based CRF)
  • Designing databases (Paper-based CRF)
  • Testing of forms and databases
  • Writing guidelines for the data validation plan for CRF completion
  • CRF/DCFtracking and double data entry application development
  • Application for double data entry and data verification
  • Cleaning and validation of data
  • Schedules and guidelines for backups of data management reports
  • Plan for disaster recovery

Process for managing data in clinical trials

  • The plan to draft a protocol, approve it and sign the necessary paperwork typically marks the beginning of the clinical data management process.
  • Design or development is the second and most important process because it includes form design, database setup, edit checks, validation, and other things.
  • The management and review of the data is the subsequent phase. Analyses, statistical planning, programming, and medical writing are part of this process.
  • The next step is filing, coordination of the submission, quality assurance testing, and review.
  • The regulatory authority’s submission is the last step.

Data confirmation

  • Incorrectly entering clinical trial data into the system affects reporting later on. Even if entered correctly, cleaning, processing, and storing unstructured data will be expensive.
  • Therefore, it’s mandatory to ensure that the data entering the system is accurate and of the highest caliber.
  • Data validation is a process used to assure the correctness and quality of data. It is implemented by implementing several tests in a system or report to ensure the logical consistency of the input and stored data.
  • A process called data validation guarantees the correctness and quality of the data. Several checks are incorporated into a system or report to ensure the logical consistency of the data input and saved.

Discrepancy control

Another name for discrepancy management (DM) is query resolution. Discrepancies that arise within a study are dealt with systematically through DM.

The DM consists of;

  • Review disparities
  • Look into the cause
  • Resolve them with documentation or deem them impossible to resolve.

DM assists in data cleaning and sufficient proof collection for the data variations. A discrepancy database shall be present in all Clinical Data Management Systems (CDMS) to track and store all discrepancies with an audit trail.

Medical coding

  • Medical coding resembles translating in several ways. Here, the coders acquire the medical reports from the clinical investigators and transform them into a collection of codes crucial to the clinical study. These reports may include information about the patient’s condition, the doctor’s diagnosis, a prescription, and any procedures the doctor or clinical investigators carry out on the patient.
  • To establish data consistency and prevent needless repetition in clinical trials, coding assists in classifying reported medical terminology on the Case Report Form into dictionary terms.
  • To classify events, coders commonly use online medical dictionaries. Coders utilize the World Health Organization-Drug Dictionary Enhanced and the Medical Dictionary for Regulatory Activities (MedDRA) to categorize adverse events and other conditions (WHO-DDE).

Quality in the management of clinical data

We can preserve the quality of the clinical trial data through examination, assessment, and standardization using a variety of instruments and procedures. Quality assurance and quality control, or QA and QC, are the two essential phases in managing data quality.

Quality assurance

  • Quality assurance in data management is a constant and dynamic practice procedure that aims to prevent errors and defects in data creation. It helps to ensure that the clinical is compliant with regulatory standards.
  • To guarantee the high quality and integrity of the data throughout the clinical research process, quality assurance (QA) is an essential task. The QA process is integrated into each stage until the final performance qualification, starting with the assessment of the patient’s needs.

The QA applies to the following areas;

  1. The collection, recording, analysis, and reporting of clinical data adhere to the protocol, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), and Good Clinical Practices (GCPs).
  2. During and after a study is finished, find and fix any data processing issues, and give data managers and research staff comments.
  3. It is mandatory to report any odd data processing circumstances or coding convention violations.
  4. Check to see if the current circumstances comply with the standards.
  5. Ensure the trial subjects’ safety and respect for their rights.
  6. Check the accuracy of the clinical data that emerges.
  7. Check if the actions comply with the applicable federal and state environmental protection laws and regulations.

Numerous advantages of quality assurance in CDM include some of the following.

  • increases the accuracy of outcomes
  • Improve consistency through audits
  • determines and resolves any ambiguities
  • compliance with compliance

QA activities include;

  • Computer System Validation (CSV): To assure correctness, dependability, consistency, and the ability to recognize erroneous or altered records, computer systems validation investigates all facets of the data handling of computer systems (hardware and software).
  • The validation process begins with the system proposal and continues until the system is retired and electronic records are kept as long as necessary to meet regulatory requirements.

The following are some steps in the validation process:

  • Planning for validation
  • User requirements
  • Timeframes and a thorough design
  • Setting up and coding
  • Releasing a report
  • Operational Qualification (OQ).
  • Intelligence Quotient (IQ)

Quality Control

By conducting routine operational inspections at every stage of the trial process and data processing, the quality control process in clinical research ensures the internal consistency of the data.

Plan for Managing Data (DMP)

The Data Management Plan, a written document, contains the specifics of the data collection and management throughout the clinical trial’s lifetime.

Planning needs to start during the trial design phase to manage data effectively. The Data Management Plan is a part of clinical trial quality assurance and process management.

  • Data collection and management before the trial, data sharing during the clinical trial, and data archiving after the clinical trial are all factors that the DMP should consider.
  • The data manager completes all the tasks and steps outlined in this strategy.
  • The DMP for a study must be ready before data collection can start. As a result, this will ensure that the data is correctly organized, presented, and annotated.
  • A well-crafted data management plan will outline how to handle the data, provide procedures for handling unforeseen circumstances, and evaluate any risks.
  • A database that is accurate, dependable, secure, and ready for examination would be the ideal outcome.

Here are some suggestions for creating a DMP.

  • Before the first trial participant is enrolled, a draft of the DMP must be made available.
  • DMP must adhere to all relevant regulatory regulations, oversight committees, and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).
  • The tasks and responsibilities of the data management group or team must be made clear in the DMP.
  • Procedures for data sharing and archiving must be detailed in the DMP.

Capturing electronic data

A computerized method called Electronic Data Capture (EDC) is used to gather clinical data in an electronic format. To streamline data collection and shorten the time it takes for pharmaceuticals and medical devices to reach the market, EDC substitutes the conventional paper-based data collection technique.

The EDC platform offers

  1. A data entry GUI (graphical user interface) component.
  2. Component for validating user data.
  3. Serves as a reporting tool for the study of gathered data.
  4. Shorten the time it takes to collect data and improve the accuracy of data used in drug and medical device research.


  • Although the database lock system is an entire procedure, it is an essential industry standard. By forbidding additional alteration before submitting the data to the FDA, the locking feature safeguards the data and guarantees its quality.
  • The database is locked to extract the clean data for statistical analysis after receiving consent for locking from all stakeholders. In general, it is not yet possible to modify the database.

Entry of data

Different ways of entering information into a computer for subsequent processing are referred to as data entry. It might involve a person manually entering data directly into a computer database from paper-based CRFs.

You must select a reputable clinical data management platform after understanding all these essential aspects of data management in a clinical study.

Do you have any questions regarding clinical data management?

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