Intersect and REDCap supporting research success

By Aidan Wilson

Increasingly, in Australia, universities, medical research institutes, government departments, and other non-profit organisations are turning to REDCap as a solution for the safe, secure, and user-friendly collection and management of record-level data of any kind.

REDCap is attractive as it is free software and actively maintained by a team of dedicated software developers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The REDCap consortium provides partners with access to those developers and fellow administrators from the 5000 partners worldwide.

There are more than 200 REDCap Partner organisations in Australia, and nearly all of Intersect’s member universities have at least one REDCap environment. Intersect, too, is a REDCap Partner, and our members have benefited from our increasing use of, and growing expertise in, this emergent and mature platform.

Intersect provides a broad range of services relating to REDCap, including user training, administrator training, hosting and maintenance, consulting, and supporting the university through its team of on-campus eResearch Analysts, many of whom perform local REDCap Administrator duties as part of their role.

Beyond training and supporting researchers, several of Intersect’s eResearch Analysts have developed local REDCap Usage Guidelines to help the university strengthen the policies around REDCap’s use for researchers. These guidelines inform users of the business processes and requirements for using REDCap, such as any requisite  approval from the University’s Human Research Ethics Committee.

Intersect’s eResearch Analysts also contribute to the consortium, providing their own expertise and advice to other administrators in the REDCap Community site, attending monthly conference calls with the REDCap developers to discuss the platform’s development roadmap, and developing external modules that can be installed on any REDCap instance to provide additional functionality.

At the 2021 eResearch Australasia conference in October, Intersect is collaborating with Deakin University, Sydney Local Health District, Monash University and UNSW Sydney, to host a Birds of a Feather session focused on how REDCap can support research success and promote safe and secure data management practices. This collaboration will launch a monthly discussion forum, in which REDCap administrators from our region can learn from each other and present their solutions to common problems.