Evaluation of a Teleform-based data collection system: a multi-center obesity research case study

Comput Biol Med. 2014 Jun;49:15-8. doi: 10.1016/j.compbiomed.2014.03.002. Epub 2014 Mar 13.


Utilizing electronic data capture (EDC) systems in data collection and management allows automated validation programs to preemptively identify and correct data errors. For our multi-center, prospective study we chose to use TeleForm, a paper-based data capture software that uses recognition technology to create case report forms (CRFs) with similar functionality to EDC, including custom scripts to identify entry errors. We quantified the accuracy of the optimized system through a data audit of CRFs and the study database, examining selected critical variables for all subjects in the study, as well as an audit of all variables for 25 randomly selected subjects. Overall we found 6.7 errors per 10,000 fields, with similar estimates for critical (6.9/10,000) and non-critical (6.5/10,000) variables-values that fall below the acceptable quality threshold of 50 errors per 10,000 established by the Society for Clinical Data Management. However, error rates were found to widely vary by type of data field, with the highest rate observed with open text fields.

Keywords: Data collection; Data quality; Technology; Teleform; Validation.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Data Collection / methods*
  • Data Collection / statistics & numerical data*
  • Electronic Data Processing / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Medical Informatics Computing
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Software*