Posts for the month of December 2011

HERON Pawnee release paves the way to a richer data repository

Our Pawnee release is the first to use i2b2 1.6. This allows us to take advantage of i2b2 1.6 features in future releases:

  • visit information, such as length of stay, age at visit
  • provider information
  • primary diagnosis vs secondary; billing vs clinical
  • medication routes, frequency

We are still in the process of re-verifying data integrity and functionality after the upgrade, so consider these statistics provisional:

i2b2 464M
Demographics 14.1M 1.88M
HICTR Participant 7.65K 7.65K
Diagnoses 17.5M 578K
Flowsheet 328M
Labtests 68.3M 244K
Medications 27.0M 99K
Procedures 9.2M 527K
Specimens 24.1K 2.56K

Note: our statistics regarding total number of flowsheet observations is reduced significantly from 470 million to 328 million. We are investigating the cause as the we think the data is intact (see ticket #789). Please give us feedback if you notice discrepancies with any prior queries where the counts are down significantly relative to last month's build.

Notice in the right hand side of the user interface that i2b2 1.6 allows you constrain observations to the same encounter. For example, you might require that patients have drug exposure (furosemide) and laboratory monitoring (serum potassium) during the same encounter while another observation like "diagnosis of diabetes" can be treated independently of encounter. Right now, we are not sure we have this working (see defect #790) but we are looking into it.

This release also fixed several outstanding bugs:

No results

REDCap Upgrade

We are excited to move to a newer version of REDCap 4.7.0. This change will bring in a lot of big/useful changes that we are really thankful to the REDCap team at Vanderbilt ( for.

First let us list our favorite features. Based on our interactions with the users, these are features we believe our users will benefit most from:

Data Quality module New module to help quickly find discrepancies and errors in your project data.

Tablet Compatibility More compatibility with tablets/iPads. Project pages now have a simpler layout with a single-page scroll, rather than the page being broken up into three different windows/frames, which would make it difficult to navigate when using some mobile devices and tablets.

Ability to edit survey responses Users can now edit survey responses that have been created by participants on the survey page. Previously, survey responses were read-only.

Better calculated fields Checkbox fields can now be referenced inside calc field equations (previously they could not, although they could always be used in branching logic). Checkboxes can be referenced in a calc field equation in the same format as in branching logic (e.g. [variable(option_code)] ), in which the resulting value for the checkbox will be either 1 or 0 for "checked" or "unchecked", respectively.

New default graphical plotting service for the Graphical Data View & Stats page When this service is enabled, the Graphical Data View & Stats page will display both the graphical plots and the descriptive stats (with some new additional metrics) all on a simple, single page (rather than as two separate tabs). For the graphical plots displayed, if you click any of the points on the plot, it will navigate you over to that exact record on the data entry form.You can toggle any bar chart to view it as a pie chart. You have the option to select an individual record/response, which will then be highlighted on the page with respect to the other values in the plots.

New graphical and statistical display options for surveys Users administering surveys can enable the option that allows their survey participants to view aggregate survey results after they have completed the survey, in which it allows respondents to view the aggregate survey data as graphical plots (bar charts and scatter plots), as descriptive statistics (missing, unique, min, max, mean, standard deviation, etc.), or as both.

External Links functionality New project module that allows users to set up custom links to websites outside REDCap or to other REDCap projects (similar to creating bookmarks). These links will appear on the left-hand project menu and can be accessed at any time by users who are given privileges to do so. There are several custom settings that may be toggled to allow one to control the look and behavior of the link as desired.

Copy a project with records The Copy Project page in any given project now has the option to allow users to copy all records within the project when making a copy of the project. This also copies any documents uploaded to "file" upload fields for records/responses on a form or survey.

New real-time data search feature All projects now have a data search feature on data entry pages that allows users to search the project data in real time.The user must first select the field/question to search under, then they can begin typing in the text box to perform the search. It will begin bringing back results immediately as they type. When they see the record they’re looking for, they can click it to navigate directly to it.

Text Size on Surveys New “resize font” setting at the top of all survey pages allows the participant to easily change the size of all the text on the survey page.

Better Timeouts More robust and aesthetically pleasing implementation of auto-logout messages to users when they have been inactive in REDCap for the designated amount of time. If the user has been away from the computer longer than the auto-logout time and they return, it will not have 3 pop-up messages piled on top of each other as in previous versions, but will instead have just one message letting the user know that they have been automatically logged out.

Calendar events On the Calendar, it now displays the name of the Data Access Group to which the record belongs if the calendar event is attached to a record that is in a Data Access Group.

New calculation functions for “calc” fields Many more functions can now be utilized in calculations. These include sum(), mean(), median(), min(), max(), roundup(), rounddown(), abs(), stdev().

Ability to use branching logic and calculations across multiple events It has always been possible to use branching logic and calculations across multiple data entry forms, but it was not possible (until now) to use branching logic or calculations across multiple events/time-points in longitudinal projects. Now this powerful new feature has been added. Cross-event branching/calculations can be implemented for a field by using a slightly different form of the syntax normally used for branching/calcs (the variable must be prepended with the unique event name in square brackets, e.g. [unique_event_name][variable_name], in which the unique event name can be found on the Define My Events page in every longitudinal project)

“Start Over” feature for survey participants invited via Participant List The survey page now allows participants invited via the Participant List to start over and re-take the entire survey if they return to the survey when they did not complete it fully, but the “Start Over” feature is only available if the Save & Return Later feature is disabled or if it is enabled and the participant did not click the Save & Return Later button. In previous versions, if the participant left the survey and did not use the Save & Return Later feature (whether or not the Save & Return Later feature was enabled), then they would not be allowed to return to the survey at all, in which their response would forever be counted as “incomplete”/”partial”.

Along with the above features there are a lot of features and fixes to bugs that you might have faced.

If you have any questions related to these changes or any other changes that might not have been listed above, do not hesitate to contact us at CRISSupport@….

Happy Holidays