Danish researchers have enlisted the Google Docs spreadsheet to decentralize data entry in a trial involving five hospitals. Lead investigator Jacob Rosenberg of Herlev Hospital reports that the free spreadsheet function may be a suitable replacement for "expensive solutions for data acquisition in multi-center trials."
The study team, which is evaluating sutured versus self-adhesive mesh in hernia repair, created a data-entry module spreadsheet to record details of the 332 subjects during five hospital visits. One research team member at each site entered data from paper case-report forms, which are retained at each site. The researchers report no technical problems and say the system was easy to use.
Investigators were then able to share the spreadsheet forms, which can be exported to other standard spreadsheet formats.
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