Tag Archives: edc developers

Case Study 3: Out-of-Box Solution

The Scenario:

The Sponsor required a solution to effectively manage and control users (internal and external).
RA eClinica Solution:

    • RA eClinica collaborated with the Sponsor to develop and implement a user management system that involved training tracking record (LMS), user access request, Role-based access control
    • Develop, deploy and host the clinical documentation service and provide customer support.

Ra eClinica Results:

    • Development of an electronic tool to manage the program and provide ongoing operational management support..
    • Reports are made accessible based on permission on a web browser CFR-Part 11 compliance is maintained on security and privacy of data.
    • Reports are XML-tagged for further integration with in-house systems and third party service providers,
    • Integrated Help desk support system

Anayansi gamboa - Out of the box solutions by RA eClinica

RA eClinica is a established consultancy company for all essential aspects of statistics, clinical data management and EDC solutions. Our services are targeted to clients in the pharmaceutical and biotech sector, health insurers and medical devices.

For discussion about our services and how you can benefit from our SMEs and cost-effective implementation CDISC SDTM clinical data click here.

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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}.

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.

SAS Programmers Tools

Are you new to SAS and wondering how to write SAS programs?

Most SAS programmers use the built-in SAS enhanced editor for their daily works. Sometimes, this editor is replaced by the code editor of SAS Enterprise Guide which provide other features like the Log tab, Output data tab and Results tab. However, some SAS users like their text editor to be very customizable and full of features which may or may not be in the enhanced editor.

If you find that your current editor is insufficient in handling your work you are not alone. We have found some alternative editors and below are some of the text editors I have come across that you can use instead of the pre-built SAS editor:

TextPad: is a full-featured text editor offering a spelling checker, macros, and powerful formatting and file-storage options from Helios Software Solutions.

This is a great program – it’s a powerful text editing tool that’s really comfortable to use. Textpad has a very clean, simple interface that deals only with text – that is, it doesn’t let you change font halfway down the page, or make text underlined or italic; it’s built purely to deal with the content, and does that job EXTREMELY well.

These features are excellent for SAS macro programming and SCL programming. Besides these, Textpad has a built-in compiler for Java which allows for rapid switching to Java coding that is occasionally required.

Below is a screen shot of the editor:

Textpad has many macro features that allows for repetitive actions to be recorded and recycled easily.

Crimson Editor is a professional source editor for Windows Open source from Ingyu Kang and one of the most popular editor available for programmers to use.

This editor also allow programmers to install schematics (define tools) that will highlight sections of your SAS programs.

Below is a screen shot of the editor:

In summary, there are many options to help a SAS programmer increase efficiency, write cleaner code, or make SAS life easier. There are other popular editors such as Emacs but I don’t have a lot of experience using it thus I cannot comment on it properly. Your style of programming will influence the type of editor you will use.

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.

How to Use SAS – Lesson 5 – Data Reduction and Data Cleaning

This video series is intended to help you learn how to program using SAS for your statistical needs. Lesson 5 introduces the concept of data reduction (also known as subsetting ;data sets). I discuss how one can subset a data set (i.e. reduce a data set’s number of observations) based on some criteria using the IF statement in the DATA STEP, or using the WHERE statement in a PROC STEP. I also discuss using the KEEP, DROP, and RENAME statements for reducing data to only a handful of the original variables (i.e. reduce a data set’s number of variables). Furthermore, I show how one can label variables so that descriptive information can be presented in output and value formats so that specific values are easy to understand. Finally, I provide basic examples of each of these for three hypothetical data sets.

Helpful Notes:

1. There are two places you can reduce the data you analyze; in the DATA STEP, and in the PROC STEP.

2. To subset data in the DATA STEP, use the IF statement.

3. To subset data in the PROC STEP, use the WHERE statement.

4. Another way to reduce data is to eliminate variables using a KEEP or DROP statement. This method is useful if you are creating a second data set or analytic version of your main dataset.

5. The RENAME statement simply changes a variables name.

Today’s Code:

data main;
input x y z;
cards;
1 2 3
7 8 9
;
run;

proc contents data=main; run;
proc print data=main; run;

/* 1. Reduce data in the DATA STEP using a simple IF statement */
data reduced_main; set main;
if x = 1;
run;

proc print data=main; run;
proc print data=reduced_main; run;

/* 2. Reduce data in the PROC STEP using a simple WHERE statement */
proc print data=main;
where x = 1;
run;

proc print data=main; run;
proc print data=reduced_main; run;

/* 3. Reduce data in the DATA STEP by KEEPing only the variables you do want */
data reduced_main; set main;
KEEP x y;
run;

proc print data=main; run;
proc print data=reduced_main; run;

/* 4. Reduce data in the DATA STEP by DROPing the variables you don’t want */
data reduced_main; set main;
DROP y;
run;

proc print data=main; run;
proc print data=reduced_main; run;

/* 5. Clean up variables using the RENAME statement within a DATA STEP */
data clean_main; set main;
rename x = ID y = month z = day;
run;

proc contents data=main; run;
proc contents data=clean_main; run;

/* 6. Clean up variables using a LABEL statement within a DATA STEP */
data clean_main; set clean_main;
label ID = “Identification Number” month = “Month of the Year” day = “Day of the Year”;
run;

proc contents data=main; run;
proc contents data=clean_main; run;

/* 7. FORMAT value labels using the PROC FORMAT and FORMAT statements */
PROC FORMAT;
value months 1=”January” 2=”February” 3=”March” 4=”April” 5=”May” 6=”June” 7=”July” 8=”August” 9=”September” 10=”October” 11=”November” 12=”December”;
run;

data clean_main; set clean_main;
format month months.;
run;

proc ;freq data=clean_main;
table month;
run;

-FAIR ;USE-
“Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.”

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.

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

Adverse Event Monitoring for CRAs

During monitoring visits one of the most important and impacting activities that a CRA performs is the source document verification of Adverse Events. The CRA is the eyes for the research sponsor when it comes to proper collection and documentation of subject safety information. Incorrect and inadequate monitoring of adverse events can lead to inaccurate labeling for clinical trials and impact market application inspectional reviews, as well as post marketing labeling. The safety regulatory and ICH definitions will be reviewed and applied to the monitoring process. This includes Causality, Expectedness/Unanticipated, and other important concepts. Case scenarios will be used to apply the information for better learning.

-FAIR USE-
“Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.”

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

-FAIR USE-
“Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.”

Tip #3 – Become an Expert at Debugging

Studies have shown that we spend 50% of our time debugging, but only learn debugging by trial and error. This webcast by John Robbins was in the top 10 favorites on Microsoft web site, and it is a real goldmine. Watch this 4-hour webcast on debugging, and you are bound to save many times that in the future. Here is the handout for the webcast – be sure to download the source code for the Visual Studio macros. John Robbins is the co-founder of Wintellect and the author of several books on .NET Debugging.

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