Replacing paper data collection forms with electronic data entry in the field

findings from a study of community-acquired bloodstream infections in Pemba, Zanzibar

Kamala Ley-Thriemer, Benedikt Ley, Shaali M Ame, Mahesh K Puri, Ramadhan Hashim, Na Yoon Chang, Luluwa Salim, R Leon Ochiai, Thomas F. Wierzba, John D Clemens, Lorenz Von Seidlein, Jaqueline L Deen, Said Mohammed Ali, Mohammad Ali

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Abstract

Background: Entering data on case report forms and subsequently digitizing them in electronic media is the traditional way to maintain a record keeping system in field studies. Direct data entry using an electronic device avoids this two-step process. It is gaining in popularity and has replaced the paper-based data entry system in many studies. We report our experiences with paper- and PDA-based data collection during a fever surveillance study in Pemba Island, Zanzibar, Tanzania.

Methods: Data were collected on a 14-page case report paper form in the first period of the study. The case report paper forms were then replaced with handheld computers (personal digital assistants or PDAs). The PDAs were used for screening and clinical data collection, including a rapid assessment of patient eligibility, real time errors, and inconsistency checking.

Results: A comparison of paper-based data collection with PDA data collection showed that direct data entry via PDA was faster and 25% cheaper. Data was more accurate (7% versus 1% erroneous data) and omission did not occur with electronic data collection. Delayed data turnaround times and late error detections in the paper-based system which made error corrections difficult were avoided using electronic data collection.

Conclusions: Electronic data collection offers direct data entry at the initial point of contact. It has numerous advantages and has the potential to replace paper-based data collection in the field. The availability of information and communication technologies for direct data transfer has the potential to improve the conduct of public health research in resource-poor settings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalBMC Research Notes
Volume5
Issue number113
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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Indian Ocean Islands
Community-Acquired Infections
Tanzania
Personal digital assistants
Data acquisition
Handheld Computers
Turnaround time
Error detection
Public health
Error correction
Data transfer
Screening
Islands
Information Systems
Availability
Fever
Public Health
Communication
Technology
Equipment and Supplies

Cite this

Ley-Thriemer, Kamala ; Ley, Benedikt ; Ame, Shaali M ; Puri, Mahesh K ; Hashim, Ramadhan ; Chang, Na Yoon ; Salim, Luluwa ; Ochiai, R Leon ; Wierzba, Thomas F. ; Clemens, John D ; Von Seidlein, Lorenz ; Deen, Jaqueline L ; Ali, Said Mohammed ; Ali, Mohammad. / Replacing paper data collection forms with electronic data entry in the field : findings from a study of community-acquired bloodstream infections in Pemba, Zanzibar. In: BMC Research Notes. 2012 ; Vol. 5, No. 113. pp. 1-7.
@article{e8c30fd1946848d189087b75347bcf0a,
title = "Replacing paper data collection forms with electronic data entry in the field: findings from a study of community-acquired bloodstream infections in Pemba, Zanzibar",
abstract = "Background: Entering data on case report forms and subsequently digitizing them in electronic media is the traditional way to maintain a record keeping system in field studies. Direct data entry using an electronic device avoids this two-step process. It is gaining in popularity and has replaced the paper-based data entry system in many studies. We report our experiences with paper- and PDA-based data collection during a fever surveillance study in Pemba Island, Zanzibar, Tanzania. Methods: Data were collected on a 14-page case report paper form in the first period of the study. The case report paper forms were then replaced with handheld computers (personal digital assistants or PDAs). The PDAs were used for screening and clinical data collection, including a rapid assessment of patient eligibility, real time errors, and inconsistency checking. Results: A comparison of paper-based data collection with PDA data collection showed that direct data entry via PDA was faster and 25{\%} cheaper. Data was more accurate (7{\%} versus 1{\%} erroneous data) and omission did not occur with electronic data collection. Delayed data turnaround times and late error detections in the paper-based system which made error corrections difficult were avoided using electronic data collection. Conclusions: Electronic data collection offers direct data entry at the initial point of contact. It has numerous advantages and has the potential to replace paper-based data collection in the field. The availability of information and communication technologies for direct data transfer has the potential to improve the conduct of public health research in resource-poor settings.",
keywords = "article, blood, communicable disease, electronic medical record, feasibility study, fever, human, Indian Ocean, information processing, information retrieval, methodology, microcomputer, reproducibility, standard, statistics, Tanzania, utilization review, Community-Acquired Infections, Computers, Handheld, Data Collection, Feasibility Studies, Fever, Humans, Indian Ocean Islands, Information Storage and Retrieval, Medical Records Systems, Computerized, Reproducibility of Results",
author = "Kamala Ley-Thriemer and Benedikt Ley and Ame, {Shaali M} and Puri, {Mahesh K} and Ramadhan Hashim and Chang, {Na Yoon} and Luluwa Salim and Ochiai, {R Leon} and Wierzba, {Thomas F.} and Clemens, {John D} and {Von Seidlein}, Lorenz and Deen, {Jaqueline L} and Ali, {Said Mohammed} and Mohammad Ali",
year = "2012",
doi = "10.1186/1756-0500-5-113",
language = "English",
volume = "5",
pages = "1--7",
journal = "BMC Research Notes",
issn = "1756-0500",
publisher = "BioMed Central",
number = "113",

}

Ley-Thriemer, K, Ley, B, Ame, SM, Puri, MK, Hashim, R, Chang, NY, Salim, L, Ochiai, RL, Wierzba, TF, Clemens, JD, Von Seidlein, L, Deen, JL, Ali, SM & Ali, M 2012, 'Replacing paper data collection forms with electronic data entry in the field: findings from a study of community-acquired bloodstream infections in Pemba, Zanzibar', BMC Research Notes, vol. 5, no. 113, pp. 1-7. https://doi.org/10.1186/1756-0500-5-113

Replacing paper data collection forms with electronic data entry in the field : findings from a study of community-acquired bloodstream infections in Pemba, Zanzibar. / Ley-Thriemer, Kamala; Ley, Benedikt; Ame, Shaali M; Puri, Mahesh K; Hashim, Ramadhan; Chang, Na Yoon; Salim, Luluwa; Ochiai, R Leon ; Wierzba, Thomas F.; Clemens, John D; Von Seidlein, Lorenz; Deen, Jaqueline L ; Ali, Said Mohammed; Ali, Mohammad.

In: BMC Research Notes, Vol. 5, No. 113, 2012, p. 1-7.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Replacing paper data collection forms with electronic data entry in the field

T2 - findings from a study of community-acquired bloodstream infections in Pemba, Zanzibar

AU - Ley-Thriemer, Kamala

AU - Ley, Benedikt

AU - Ame, Shaali M

AU - Puri, Mahesh K

AU - Hashim, Ramadhan

AU - Chang, Na Yoon

AU - Salim, Luluwa

AU - Ochiai, R Leon

AU - Wierzba, Thomas F.

AU - Clemens, John D

AU - Von Seidlein, Lorenz

AU - Deen, Jaqueline L

AU - Ali, Said Mohammed

AU - Ali, Mohammad

PY - 2012

Y1 - 2012

N2 - Background: Entering data on case report forms and subsequently digitizing them in electronic media is the traditional way to maintain a record keeping system in field studies. Direct data entry using an electronic device avoids this two-step process. It is gaining in popularity and has replaced the paper-based data entry system in many studies. We report our experiences with paper- and PDA-based data collection during a fever surveillance study in Pemba Island, Zanzibar, Tanzania. Methods: Data were collected on a 14-page case report paper form in the first period of the study. The case report paper forms were then replaced with handheld computers (personal digital assistants or PDAs). The PDAs were used for screening and clinical data collection, including a rapid assessment of patient eligibility, real time errors, and inconsistency checking. Results: A comparison of paper-based data collection with PDA data collection showed that direct data entry via PDA was faster and 25% cheaper. Data was more accurate (7% versus 1% erroneous data) and omission did not occur with electronic data collection. Delayed data turnaround times and late error detections in the paper-based system which made error corrections difficult were avoided using electronic data collection. Conclusions: Electronic data collection offers direct data entry at the initial point of contact. It has numerous advantages and has the potential to replace paper-based data collection in the field. The availability of information and communication technologies for direct data transfer has the potential to improve the conduct of public health research in resource-poor settings.

AB - Background: Entering data on case report forms and subsequently digitizing them in electronic media is the traditional way to maintain a record keeping system in field studies. Direct data entry using an electronic device avoids this two-step process. It is gaining in popularity and has replaced the paper-based data entry system in many studies. We report our experiences with paper- and PDA-based data collection during a fever surveillance study in Pemba Island, Zanzibar, Tanzania. Methods: Data were collected on a 14-page case report paper form in the first period of the study. The case report paper forms were then replaced with handheld computers (personal digital assistants or PDAs). The PDAs were used for screening and clinical data collection, including a rapid assessment of patient eligibility, real time errors, and inconsistency checking. Results: A comparison of paper-based data collection with PDA data collection showed that direct data entry via PDA was faster and 25% cheaper. Data was more accurate (7% versus 1% erroneous data) and omission did not occur with electronic data collection. Delayed data turnaround times and late error detections in the paper-based system which made error corrections difficult were avoided using electronic data collection. Conclusions: Electronic data collection offers direct data entry at the initial point of contact. It has numerous advantages and has the potential to replace paper-based data collection in the field. The availability of information and communication technologies for direct data transfer has the potential to improve the conduct of public health research in resource-poor settings.

KW - article

KW - blood

KW - communicable disease

KW - electronic medical record

KW - feasibility study

KW - fever

KW - human

KW - Indian Ocean

KW - information processing

KW - information retrieval

KW - methodology

KW - microcomputer

KW - reproducibility

KW - standard

KW - statistics

KW - Tanzania

KW - utilization review

KW - Community-Acquired Infections

KW - Computers, Handheld

KW - Data Collection

KW - Feasibility Studies

KW - Fever

KW - Humans

KW - Indian Ocean Islands

KW - Information Storage and Retrieval

KW - Medical Records Systems, Computerized

KW - Reproducibility of Results

U2 - 10.1186/1756-0500-5-113

DO - 10.1186/1756-0500-5-113

M3 - Article

VL - 5

SP - 1

EP - 7

JO - BMC Research Notes

JF - BMC Research Notes

SN - 1756-0500

IS - 113

ER -