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Table 2 Strengths and considerations of an electronic data collection system.

From: Automated inter-rater reliability assessment and electronic data collection in a multi-center breast cancer study



Flexible with amount and type of site-specific electronic data available for preloading

May not be cost-effective if the data collection instrument is short, there is no mixed data type and/or number of data abstraction sites is small

Combines data abstraction and data entry into one step and allows for real-time data cleaning, so that data were immediately available for analysis

Resources needed for

1. system and manual development

2. training

3. hardware

4. software

Ease of managing data from multiple locations

Skilled personnel needed at each site throughout the study period

Efficiency in data management from

1. automated algorithm for eligibility verification

2. integrated sampling scheme so that abstraction can be stopped once the sampling quota is reached

3. algorithm to defer abstraction until follow up period is complete


Readily allows for development of subsequent systems such as automated Inter-rater reliability process