What Is REDCap?

REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) is a secure, web-based application system developed by researchers for researchers. It is a powerful tool for building and managing online surveys and databases to support online or offline data capture. It provides a high degree of customizability, unlimited survey functionality, a sophisticated export module, advanced user right control, and supports HIPAA compliance.

REDCap has many features, including:

  • Easy Online or offline project design
    • Easy-to-build projects without advanced programming knowledge using the Online Designer or offline using a “data dictionary” template in Microsoft Excel that can be uploaded later into REDCap.
  • Multiple data collection methods
    • Collect anonymous or identified data via online surveys, direct data entry, or generate a PDF version for printing in order to collect responses offline. REDCap also offers MyCap and REDCap Mobile App.
  • Secure and web-based
    • Input data or build an online survey or database from anywhere in the world over a secure web connection with authentication and data logging.
  • Multi-site access
    • REDCap databases/surveys can be used by researchers from multiple sites and institutions.
  • Fully customizable
    • You are in total control of shaping your database or survey. REDCap offers extensive question types including: matrix questions, rating scales, textboxes, radio buttons, drop-downs, and file uploads.
  • Audit trails
    • For tracking data manipulation and user activity.
  • Automated export procedures
    • For seamless data downloads to Excel, PDF, and common statistical packages (SPSS, SAS, Stata, R).
  • Many advanced features
    • Such as branching logic, file uploading, calculated fields, built-in project calendar, scheduling module, and ad hoc reporting tools.
  • Regulatory compliance
    • REDCap is a HIPAA-capable system approved by UCH IT Security. However, system-level requirements are only half of the equation; there are things that you must do as the owner of the REDCap project. Fortunately, REDCap includes useful tools and features that can be used to help manage and protect your data.
  • Secure and Convenient Messaging
    • Convenient web authentication using UConn Health’s domain account system to send messages and surveys invitations directly to participants via REDCap.
  • Multiple-Language Management
    • REDCap gives you the ability to translate any kind of text found within REDCap (navigational buttons, REDCap instructional text, fields and options, emails, etc.).
  • Many advanced features
    • Such as branching logic, file uploading, and calculated fields.
  • And so much more…

*Your study materials dictate what and how data can be collected and how that data will be stored – this includes the usage of REDCap. Please refer to your approved study plan to determine if and how your project can utilize REDCap – this information can be found in the protocol, consent forms, IRB application, Data Security Assessment, HIPAA authorization/waiver, etc. ALL project fields and forms/instruments should match what has been approved.

**REDCap should ONLY be used for active data collection and project data should be routinely exported. For more information: Managing Your Data. Once active data collection has ended, the project and its data need to be removed from the system. Therefore, you must have an external storage plan in place, which should be part of your IRB-approved plan.


Security and Human Subjects Research Data

UCH REDCap is a HIPAA-capable web platform in that being HIPAA-compliant requires that users conduct certain practices, such as limiting access to and restricting export of high-risk data. As such, part of what makes UCH REDCap HIPAA-compliant is the appropriate data collection and management practices of UCH REDCap users, even those not collecting high risk data. Therefore, all UCH REDCap users must complete the appropriate institutional and federal regulatory requirements per IRB of record (i.e., CITI Courses, HIPAA training, etc): UConn, UCH, or external equivalent.  All users must also abide by Protecting High Risk Data no matter the classification of their project data. Please note, UCH REDCap is NOT a 21 CFR Part 11-compliant system and should not be used for studies reporting to the FDA (i.e., IND, IDE, abbreviated IDE, etc).

All data stored on our servers at UConn Health are protected by multiple firewalls. Remote access from outside UConn Health is provided securely over an encrypted web connection. In addition, the REDCap application allows you to identify and protect fields that contain Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and/or Protected Health Information (PHI) data by employing fine-grained user rights that are set by the study administrator to control who can view, modify, or add data and/or forms. All activities are also system logged and are available in a full audit trail. We encourage research PIs to collect the least amount of PII or PHI as possible if such collection is absolutely necessary. Recommended reading before collecting Protected Health Information (PHI): A beginner’s guide to avoiding Protected Health Information (PHI) issues in clinical research – With how-to’s in REDCap Data Management Software.


Contact Us

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us: redcap@uchc.edu.