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The development and implementation of a computerized database for clinical research in minimal access surgery. An international pilot study

The development and implementation of a computerized database for clinical research in minimal access surgery. An international pilot study

Surgical Endoscopy 15(9): 1008-1010

The measurement of outcomes after minimal access surgery (MAS) relies on the maintenance of an accurate, prospective clinical database. The development of a system for data management often proves to be challenging, expensive, and extremely time-consuming. We developed a computerized relational database for MAS using Microsoft Access 97 to reside on a hospital server, taking advantage of existing network connections, security, and backup systems. The design of the database includes a point-and-click approach with dropdown boxes for diagnoses, procedures, and complications (limited free-text entry). A fundamental feature of this database allows surgeons and surgical trainees to record clinical information at the point and time of data acquisition. A "beta version" or fully functional draft of the database was presented to a group of surgeons from a variety of specialties (n = 8), and a structured interview based on a questionnaire was used to elicit the surgeon's evaluations of the database. Using the information from the interviews, the database was extensively revised and restructured. We have developed a relational database that reflects the needs of surgeons interested in clinical research. This database may serve as a template for other centers. It can be expanded to adopt new procedures or modified for other surgical specialties.

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Accession: 047607517

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PMID: 11605113

DOI: 10.1007/s004640080028

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