Clinical data management system

Clinical data management system

A clinical data management system or CDMS is a tool used in clinical research to manage the data of a clinical trial. The clinical trial data gathered at the investigator site in the case report form are stored in the CDMS. To reduce the possibility of errors due to human entry, the systems employ various means to verify the data.



The CDMS can be broadly divided into paper-based and electronic data capturing systems.

Paper-based systems

Case report forms are manually filled at site and mailed to the company for which trial is being performed. The data on forms is transferred to the CDMS tool through data entry.The most popular method being double data entry where two different data entry operators enter the data in the system independently and both the entries are compared by the system. In case the entry of a value conflicts, system alerts and a verification can be done manually. Another method is Single Data Entry.

The data in CDMS are then transferred for the data validation. Also, in these systems during validation the data clarification from sites are done through paper forms, which are printed with the problem description and sent to the investigator site and the site responds by answering on forms and mailing them back.

Electronic data capturing systems

In such CDMS the investigators directly uploads the data on CDMS and the data can then be viewed by the data validation staff. Once the data are uploaded by site, data validation team can send the electronic alerts to sites if there are any problems.

Such systems eliminate paper usage in clinical trial validation of data.

Clinical data management

Once the data have been screened for typographical errors, the data can be validated to check for logical errors. An example is a check of the subject's age to ensure that they are within the inclusion criteria for the study. These errors are raised for review to determine if there are errors in the data or if clarifications from the investigator are required.

Another function that the CDMS can perform is the coding of data. Currently, the coding is generally centered around two areas — adverse event terms and medication names. With the variance on the number of references that can be made for adverse event terms or medication names, standard dictionaries of these terms can be loaded into the CDMS. The data items containing the adverse event terms or medication names can be linked to one of these dictionaries. The system can check the data in the CDMS and compare them to the dictionaries. Items that do not match can be flagged for further checking. Some systems allow for the storage of synonyms to allow the system to match common abbreviations and map them to the correct term. As an example, ASA (acetylsalicylic acid) could be mapped to aspirin, a common notation. Popular adverse event dictionaries are MedDRA and WHOART and popular Medication dictionaries are COSTART and WHO Drug Dictionary.

At the end of the clinical trial the data set in the CDMS is extracted and provided to statisticians for further analysis. The analysed data are compiled into clinical study report and sent to the regulatory authorities for approval.

Most of the drug manufacturing companies are using Web-based systems for capturing, managing and reporting clinical data. This not only helps them in faster and more efficient data capture, but also speeds up the process of drug development. Medidata RAVE is an example of a Web-based data capture system. In such systems studies can be set up for each drug trial. In-built edit checks help in removing erroneous data. The system can also be connected to other external systems. For example, RAVE can be connected to an IVRS facility to capture data through direct telephonic interviews of patients.

See also


  • Stuart Summerhayes, CDM Regulations Procedures Manual, Blackwell Publishing, ISBN 1-4051-0740-5
  • Tai BC, Seldrup J., A review of software for data management, design and analysis of clinical trials, Ann Acad Med Singapore. 2000 Sep;29(5):576-81.
  • Greenes RA, Pappalardo AN, Marble CW, Barnett GO., Design and implementation of a clinical data management system, Comput Biomed Res. 1969 Oct;2(5):469-85.

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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