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For Once, in the Right Place at the Right Time?

Dutch Windmills
Learning a Language – Courtesy of Babbel

One of the hardest obstacles I have had to overcome since actually ‘levende’ here as opposed to having a ‘vakantiehuis’ is having a broaden my use of Dutch. Let’s face it, the vocabulary used for shopping, restaurants, the weather and other public places isn’t much use when trying to sort out business professionals, government officials and the like. Your neighbours also expect a little more variety of conversation than ‘goedemorgen, dag, tot ziens’ when they are seeing you on a regular basis.
Learning is a very personal thing dependent on what suits you best and what kind of learner you are. Let’s just say that my memory is not what it used to be!

As far as how these experiences applied to the clinical work or projects, you need to have certain things in place:

  • Discipline and deadlines. Do not confuse this with ‘time management’. I am sort of a person who works better under pressure. Consistency is key to language learning. You can make progress in any language or technology with just a few minutes a day.

Time Management is an illusion. Time cannot be managed. All we are able to manage are activities. Bob Proctor

    • Revision. Being able to speak multiple languages in Europe is common. Most Europeans citizens speak on average two (2) languages some even three or four. Even though I can speak three (3) languages with ease, I really need so much learning with the Dutch. It is not use assuming that I have mastered one verb and then moving onto the next because I won’t have. Same, when you learn a new EDC tool,  you need to practice and revisit all what you have learned. As they say, practice makes perfect!
Map of Europe - Blank Map (summer style)
EU Map – AVG Languages Spoken
  • Writing things down. I am a visual/show me first kind of learner so I take in information better once I have written it down and even better if I use my mind to map and draw it. So find what suits you best to improve your EDC learning experiences.
  • Speaking. I need to use the new material immediately for it to go into my memory. Learn to speak the EDC programming language.
  • Reading. This will improve your vocabulary and help you with the grammar and spelling. Spend time reading online blogs, biotechnology magazines, youtube technology channels and even your own company’s WPs / SOPs as they will help you be a better EDC developer.

The knowledge that my horizons can be so much wider than I thought, that you can communicate and connect with people and make a home in a different place. I have come to embody a very different mentality. Being here has given me many opportunities, but one of the biggest changes has been having the time and money to travel, and of course, learn to speak a new language.

I hope this helps. I have found some useful resources and they are listed all over this blog. In the future, I plan to add more resources and training materials. Remember that learning and development are lifetime activities—there’s no finish line.

Amazingly, I think I can be sure for once I was in the right place at the right time.

Anayansi Gamboa, MPM, an EDC Developer Consultant and clinical programmer for the Pharmaceutical and Biotech industry with more than 13 years of experience.

Available for short-term contracts or ad-hoc requests. See my specialties section (Oracle, SQL Server, EDC Inform, EDC Rave, OpenClinica, SAS and other CDM tools)

As the 3 C’s of life states: Choices, Chances and Changes- you must make a choice to take a chance or your life will never change. I continually seek to implement means of improving processes to reduce cycle time and decrease work effort.

Subscribe to my blog’s RSS feed and email newsletter to get immediate updates on latest news, articles, and tips. I am available on LinkedIn. Connect with me there for technical discussions.

Disclaimer: The EDC Developer blog is “one man’s opinion”. Anything that is said on the report is either opinion, criticism, information or commentary. If making any type of investment or legal decision it would be wise to contact or consult a professional before making that decision.

Disclaimer:De inhoud van deze columns weerspiegelen niet per definitie de mening van {EDC Developer}.

OpenClinica: Printing subject casebooks, blank casebooks and blank CRFs

Wanna print subject casebooks using OpenClinica? This article is an extract from a video demo from the OpenClinica blog website. Click the link below now.

Source: http://blog.openclinica.com/2014/10/06/video-demos-printing-subject-casebooks-blank-casebooks-and-blank-crfs/

Happy Printing!!!

 

Fair Use Notice: This video contains some copyrighted material whose use has not been authorized by the copyright owners. We believe that this not-for-profit, educational, and/or criticism or commentary use on the Web constitutes a fair use of the copyrighted material (as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. Fair Use notwithstanding we will immediately comply with any copyright owner who wants their material removed or modified, wants us to link to their website or wants us to add their photo.

The EDC Developer blog is “one man’s opinion”. Anything that is said on the report is either opinion, criticism, information or commentary, If making any type of investment or legal decision it would be wise to contact or consult a professional before making that decision.

Disclaimer:De inhoud van deze columns weerspiegelen niet per definitie de mening van {EDC Developer}.

Where in the World is Ana?

First, I want to say thank you for reading my blog, connecting with me on LinkedIn or following whenever I go [thank you NSA].

Many of you, for months, have asked me if I was going to write more articles related to clinical trials. For sometime now, I have taking time-off from this EDC blog and concentrated on some other projects of equal importance. I will share some new insights and information as I get myself back on track.

So what is a girl who has a master’s degree in project management and computer networks doing as a programmer? It’s not that I didn’t like project management, per se. And entering in the IT network business years ago was quite difficult for girls like me in a world dominated by men. It’s basically that I didn’t find myself with the same passion for project management or computer networks that I have for programming and technology in general.

Because I am so interested in technology and programming, I tend to spend a lot more time than my peers in learning new technologies, and enhancing my existing skills. Many of my co-workers and ex-collega (Dutch) have commented on their admiration that my skill level is as high as it is, and that I am able to learn new technologies so quickly. But beyond just learning new technologies and APIs, I’m passionate about becoming a better overall programmer. Reason why in the last few months, I spent time learning IOs development (iPhone and Android apps). I am actually working on an app to ‘hack’ into my own car. 🙂 Well, not exactly. I want to be able to open my car and do some other basic command (like opening the garage door) using an APP.

Given my degree in project management, it should be clear that I have useful skills beyond the programming world. In fact, having a project management background has helped me interface with various groups in various organizations in which I’ve worked.

I have installed, maintained, and designed numerous relational databases and small networks. As a freelancer, I have worked in projects doing data analysis, project support and computer training.

Now you know a little about me personally. If you think I might be the type of developer you’re looking for, feel free to browse my resume and contact me.

Anayansi Gamboa
Resume / CV .

Comments? Join us at {EDC Developer}

P.S. I will be releasing some training videos / training material for several EDC tools in the near future including tips and best practices. Price has not been setup yet. All training will be web-based, password protected. If you wish to consult with me for a face-to-face training or on-site training, please contact me to discuss further.

Fair Use Notice: This video contains some copyrighted material whose use has not been authorized by the copyright owners. We believe that this not-for-profit, educational, and/or criticism or commentary use on the Web constitutes a fair use of the copyrighted material (as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. Fair Use notwithstanding we will immediately comply with any copyright owner who wants their material removed or modified, wants us to link to their website or wants us to add their photo.

Disclaimer: The EDC Developer blog is “one man’s opinion”. Anything that is said on the report is either opinion, criticism, information or commentary, If making any type of investment or legal decision it would be wise to contact or consult a professional before making that decision.

Disclaimer:De inhoud van deze columns weerspiegelen niet per definitie de mening van {EDC Developer}.

Disclaimer: The legal entity on this blog is registered as Doing Business As (DBA) – Trade Name – Fictitious Name – Assumed Name as “GAMBOA”.

How to Manage Sites and Users in InForm Trial?

So you created your first InForm Trial and now what? Before you can actually enter data into your trial, you need to set up a user management system which assigns permissions to different users in your system depending on their job “role”.

In InForm, this is accomplished by using a tool called ‘User Management Tool’ or simple UMT. This tool allows sponsor to manage sites and users once the trial have gone live. There may be many different user groups with different levels and ranges of permissions.

Creating an InForm Trial – UMT:

  1. Create your InForm trial in the UMT. I won’t go into details on how to actually do this and depend upon the contract agreement with the vendor (i.e. Oracle/PhaseForward); they will perform this task for you.
  2. Select Trial Version = latest InForm version (i.e. 5.0)
  3. Select Countries where this trial will take place
  4. Select Status. Each InForm trial has 4 main statuses.
    1. Fast Start = Pre-Go Live
    2. Fast Forward = Trial is now live
    3. Fast Lock = Trial is lock
    4. Decommission = Trial is completed/archived

Managing users and groups can be a tedious task but tools such as UMT makes them easier to manage.

Roles: Roles (e.g. CRA, PI, System Administrator, etc) are used to assign specific permissions to individual users or groups, typically to perform specific functions in the InForm system.

The system allows you to either manually enter a role or import using a template called ‘MUL’ or Masters Users List. If you decided to upload your rights and roles via MUL, the system will generate a log file. It is imperative that you check this file and check any errors before proceeding.

Once the roles have been added to the UMT, you need to approved them before you build your clinical trial. The system also comes with defaulted and approved rights and roles.

Another option available is to create what is called as ‘signature groups’. If you are familiar with Medidata Rave system, this is equivalent to checking the ‘Signature required’ box and setting the investigator signature in Architect project main page.

Common use of Signatures in clinical trials are at the form level (i.e. 1 signature per form or at the subject level or studybook = 1 signature per subject).

Item Groups: Items groups is used to overrides or restrict a particular user access to a form or field. This is equivalent to ‘Restrictions – View/Entry’ in Medidata Rave.

One good example of display override usage is the coding fields restrictions. If only Clinical Coders are allowed to view / entry data on those items, you will limit access to all roles but the coders role.

Here’s a snippet of the code in .XML:

<!–?xml version=”1.0″?>–>
<MEDMLDATA xmlns=”PhaseForward-MedML-Inform4″>
/*some other code goes here*/
<ITEMGROUP
GROUPNAME=”Hidden Coding Items”
GROUPDESCRIPTION=”Hidden Coding Items”>
<!– Insert ItemRef Names –>
<ITEMREF REFNAME=”PT_NAME”/>
<ITEMREF REFNAME=”HLGT_NAME”/>
<ITEMREF REFNAME=”HLT_NAME”/>
<ITEMREF REFNAME=”LLT_NAME”/>
<ITEMREF REFNAME=”SOC_NAME”/>
</ITEMGROUP>
</MEDMLDATA>

Two other important groups that you need to be aware of is the Query and the Report Groups. The former, as the name entails, allows a user to open, answer, reissue and close queries during the course of a clinical trial. The latter, allows a particular user to run reports.

For example, an Ad Hoc User can access Ad Hoc reports via Cognos. The roles associated to this group could be your project manager, Clinical Research Associate (CRA) or your Lead Data Manager (LDM/CDM).

Once you have completed your basic setup, you will need to prepare or cook those xmls files onto your clinical trial. The rights/roles we discussed needs to be in an approved status. You also want to make sure you ‘lock for QC’ or lock the trial to prevent anyone from making changes to already added sites/users.

Sites and Users marked for upload to InForm will automatically be cooked into your trial.

Last step we need to take is to generate the XML files by selecting the link ‘Generate InFormXML.’ Now, your UAT trial is created, your URL is set up and you are ready to perform User Acceptance Testing.

Remember to validate your XML files, especially if your clinical trial is running across several countries. I have found issues with foreign languages symbols or special characters entered in the UMT system. Avoid at all cost any special characters.

Source: User Management Tool Reference Guide from PhaseFoward

Your comments and questions are valued and encouraged.
Anayansi Gamboa has an extensive background in clinical data management as well as experience with different EDC systems including Oracle InForm, InForm Architect, Central Designer, CIS, Clintrial, Medidata Rave, Central Coding, OpenClinica, Open Source and Oracle Clinical.

Central Designer – Troubleshooting Tips

If an edit check or function fails to behave as expected, it is time to use your ‘troubleshooting’ skills. The following tips may help you when you are troubleshooting rules in InForm:

Rules:

  • check if rules are running
  • check the rule logic
  • check Rule Dependencies: a rule on a form has access to items on that form, but not other forms or other visits
  • check InForm machine’s Application Event Log

Though some vendors will correct major problems with their products by releasing entirely new versions, other vendors may fix minor bugs by issuing patches, small software updates that address problems detected by users or developers.

Check the release notes for Central Designer for known problems. The release notes provide descriptions and workaround solutions for known problems.
Remember that there is a report available you can run “Data Entry Rule Actions Report”. This report outputs all data entry rules in CSV format and can be formatted into an edit check specification documentation for QA testing.
A rule can be written in more than one way, which makes it difficult to impose any restrictions:
Scenario: Route item has 3 choices. OP, SC and IV. Query should fire if the user does not choose either OP or SC. This rule could be written in many ways:

–Value = route.Value

If (value == 3)

–Value = route.Value == 3

If (value == true)

–Value = !(route.Value == 3)

If (value == false)

–Value = (route.Value == 1 || route.Value == 2)

If (value == false)

–Value = route.Value !=1 && route.Value != 2

If (value == true)

Keep it consistent across the trial. Do not overuse the conditional statements when a simple range check should be program.

Note: Be aware that if you want to reuse a rule that uses data from a logical schema in another study, the other study must also contain the logical schema.

If you have explored most of the obvious possibilities and still
cannot get your rule / edit check to work, ask someone in your team to peer review the build.

 

  • unit test your code
  • context available for defining test cases
  • Site name, date/time, locale; Form associations; Empty values; Unknown dates; Repeating objects
  • test case results: Pass or Fail based on expected results
  • perform formal QA / QT

Remember to check the Event log via Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Event Viewer

Reference Document : Central Designer – Rule Troubleshooting.pdf

Your comments and questions are valued and encouraged.
Anayansi Gamboa has an extensive background in clinical data management as well as experience with different EDC systems including Oracle InForm, InForm Architect, Central Designer, CIS, Clintrial, Medidata Rave, Central Coding, OpenClinica, Open Source and Oracle Clinical.

Data Management Plan in Clinical Trials

 

The preparation of the data management plan (DMP) is a simple, straightforward approach designed to promote and ensure comprehensive project planning.

The data management plan typically contains the following items. They are:

  1. Introduction/Purpose of the document
  2. Scope of application/Definitions
  3. Abbreviations
  4. Who/what/where/when
  5. Project Schedule/Major Project Milestones
  6. Updates of the DMP
  7. Appendix

The objective of this guidelines is to define the general content of the Data Management Plan (DMP) and the procedures for developing and maintaining this document.

The abbreviation section could include all acronyms used within a particular study for further clarification.

e.g. CRF = Case Report Form
TA = Therapeutic Area

The Who/What/Where/When section should describe the objective of the study specific data management plans for ABC study. This section provides detail information about the indications, the number of subjects planned for the study, countries participating in the clinical trial, monitoring guidelines (SDV) or partial SDV, if any CROs or 3rd party are involved in the study (e.g. IVRS, central labs), which database will be used to collect study information (e.g. Clintrial, Oracle Clinical, Medidata Rave or Inform EDC).

The Appendix provides a place to put supporting information, allowing the body of the DMP to be kept concise and at more summary levels. For example, you could document Database Access of team members, Self-evident correction plan, Data Entry plan if using Double-data entry systems or Paper-Based clinical trials systems.

Remember, this is a living document and must be updated throughout the course of the clinical trial.

If problems arise during the life of a project, our first hunch would be that the project was not properly planned.

Reference: Role of Project Management in Clinical Trials
Your comments and questions are valued and encouraged.
Anayansi Gamboa has an extensive background in clinical data management as well as experience with different EDC systems including Oracle InForm, InForm Architect, Central Designer, CIS, Clintrial, Medidata Rave, Central Coding, OpenClinica, Open Source and Oracle Clinical.

To hire me for services, you may contact me via Contact Me OR Join me on LinkedIn

Disclaimer: The legal entity on this blog is registered as Doing Business As (DBA) – Trade Name – Fictitious Name – Assumed Name as “GAMBOA”.

Tip #5 – Download library of 200+ Code Samples

Download 200+ highly organized code samples with a single click of the mouse. Each sample includes an explanation of the syntax involved.

This library can become a programmer’s expanding toolkit that will rapidly increase productivity over time. Progress Monitor members can always download the latest version of this growing library as a single file.

CodeSamples

Check out http://idealprogrammer.com/ if you are new to VB.NET or ASP technology

Tip #4 – Install LinqPad

Tired of querying in antiquated SQL?

Well, you don’t have to! LINQPad lets you interactively query databases in a modern query language: LINQ. Kiss goodbye to SQL Management Studio!

LinqPad comes with 100s of great LINQ samples. Work through the 5-minute induction under the Samples section after installing Low Impact version of LinqPad 4.0.

LinqPad

Check out http://idealprogrammer.com/ if you are new to VB.NET or ASP technology

I Need a Relational Database

What is a Relational Database?
A relational database is a collection of database objects: tables maintaining relationships based on the primary/foreign key principle, various means of manipulating these tables, and the rules that enforce the relationships and their integrity. Unlike spreadsheet tables or flat files, RDBMS tables are related in a parent/child-like relationship.

This video was made and uploaded with Xtranormal’s State

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