A web-based medical safety reporting system for a large multicenter clinical trial: the ALIAS experience

Contemp Clin Trials. 2010 Nov;31(6):536-43. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2010.08.010. Epub 2010 Sep 7.


An electronic safety reporting (ESR) module was developed and integrated into a home-grown web-based clinical trial management system (CTMS) to enhance the efficiency, completeness and consistency of reporting and reviewing serious adverse events, monitoring safety, and submitting safety reports to regulatory authorities for a large multicenter clinical trial. The architecture of this integrated module provided many advantages. First, the ESR module was developed based on a comprehensive procedure which incorporated both computer logic processing steps and human intervention steps in order to deal with the complex and unexpected situations where pre-programmed computer logic may fail. Second, safety and efficacy data were managed within the same relational database. Relevant data captured on efficacy case report forms, such as demographics, medical history, lab data and concomitant medications, were directly retrievable for MedWatch report composition without requiring redundant data entry. Finally, the ESR module shared the same generic user interfaces and data processing functions with other modules in the CTMS. These generic components include data editing, data retrieving, data reporting, dictionary-based automatic and interactive coding, event-driven and calendar-driven automatic email notifications, and user privilege management. This integrated ESR module was implemented in the Albumin in Acute Stroke (ALIAS) Trial-Part 1. A total of 397 serious adverse event reports were processed and 33 FDA MedWatch reports, 28 initial reports, and 5 follow-up reports were submitted to FDA and Health Canada using this system. Experiences and lessons learned from the development and implementation of this system are presented in this paper.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adverse Drug Reaction Reporting Systems / organization & administration*
  • Algorithms
  • Clinical Trials Data Monitoring Committees
  • Humans
  • Information Management / methods*
  • Information Systems / organization & administration
  • Internet
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic*
  • Safety Management / organization & administration
  • United States
  • United States Food and Drug Administration