New features and improvements in REDCap Version 7.22 on March 30, 2017
On Thursday, March 30, 2017, the CTS-IT will upgrade REDCap from version 6.18.0 to 7.2.2. You can expect a downtime for REDCap from 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. while we complete the upgrade. The new version includes several new features as well as improvements to existing features. Some of the most exciting features include infinitely repeating forms and events, the ability to create a customized record status dashboard, and an even more responsive user interface to conform to and fit screens on devices of all sizes.
Read full descriptions of these new and improved features:
New feature: Repeating Instruments and Events
- REDCap has the ability to repeat a data collection instrument or an entire event of instruments an unlimited number of times without having to specify the amount needed. This is sometimes called one-to-many data collection, in which a project can have one or more repeating parts. The repeating instruments/events feature can be enabled and set up by clicking the Enable button in the Optional Modules section on the Project Setup page.
- Enabling Surveys for Repeating Instruments: If one wishes to allow survey respondents to enter their responses in a repeating fashion in survey mode alone, one must enable an optional setting near the bottom of the Survey Settings page (in the survey termination options section) *after* an instrument has been set as a repeating instrument. So, it is one additional step to do after enabling the instrument itself as a repeating instrument. When the repeat survey setting is enabled, it will display a button at the end of the survey so that the respondent can choose to enter another response for the survey, thus essentially allowing them to take the survey multiple times in a row. In this way, they will be able to enter as many responses for that same survey as they need.
- Reports and Data Exports with Repeating Instruments and Events: If one creates a report that contains data from a repeating instrument or repeating event, a field named ‘redcap_repeat_instance’ will be included that represents the instance number, which is an auto-numbered value (starting with ‘1’) that gets incremented each time the instrument/event is repeated. And if the report contains data specifically from a repeating instrument (as opposed to a repeating event), then a field named ‘redcap_repeat_instrument’ will additionally be included that represents the instrument name that denotes to which instrument the row of data belongs. These two fields will only be included automatically in the report or data export if data originates from a repeating instrument or event. Note: Each repeated instance of an instrument or event will be displayed as a new row in the report or export file.
To see these new features in action, click the video link below. The first 5-10 minutes provide a good understanding of why the features are useful, how they work, and how to set them up. But if you’re interested in seeing their full capabilities, then we recommend watching the whole video. You can read more details below about this new functionality.
New Feature: Custom Record Status Dashboard
A custom record status dashboard allows you to build separate record status views to support various workflows in your project. With this feature, you can exclude certain forms and/or events to make it easier to read and faster to render – either by using the configuration panel (“Customize Dashboard”) or by clicking on the red X in the right-hand corner when hovering over the column headers. You can also add record-level filters to omit those records you are not concerned with. For example, you could exclude those records from the Record Status Dashboard that have been excluded from the study or have been marked as Complete. The filtering functions the same way as using branching logic (i.e., [excluded] = ‘1’ or [gender] = ‘2’) or the filtering feature when creating Reports. Lastly, there are a number of visualization enhancements, such as row grouping and vertical alignment, that make the table easier to read. Users with project-design rights can save custom dashboards as bookmarks that can be used by other users on the project.
- REDCap’s base font is now Open Sans, and is slightly bigger in size, providing better readability. In previous versions, the base font was Arial.
- Renaming a record is now performed on the Record Home page using the “Choose action for record” drop-down list rather than on the first data entry form.
- The location of the “Design your data collection instruments” step and “Define your events” step (longitudinal projects only) on the Project Setup page will now remain in the same location on the page when in production status as they did when in development status. In previous versions, these two steps were moved to the bottom of the page. This change is to provide more consistency for where things are located during the entire development of a project.
- The method in which to delete an entire record has been changed. It is no longer done by clicking a button at the bottom of the data entry form, but rather it is done by selecting the Delete Record option in the record actions drop-down on the Record Home Page.
- The method in which to delete an entire event of a record has been changed (this applies to longitudinal projects only). It is no longer done by clicking a button at the bottom of the data entry form, but rather it is done by clicking the red X icons now displayed in the bottom row of the status table on the Record Home Page.
- Change/improvement: If a user clicks the “Add new record” button on the “Add/Edit Records” page, then it will automatically take them to the data entry form (rather than the Record Home Page) if the project contains only one instrument (or if longitudinal, only contains one designated instrument for the selected arm). This reduces clicks for the user and thus saves time.
- When the user clicks the “Save & Stay” button (formerly the “Save and Continue button) on a data entry form, it now says “Record XXXX was successfully edited” at the top of the page to denote that the form was saved.
- Improvement/change: Assigning a record to a Data Access Group (or un-assigning/reassigning a record) is now performed on the Record Home page using the “Choose action for record” drop-down list rather than on the data entry form. The only exception for this is when a record is being created on a data entry form (when the record does not yet exist), in which it will allow the user to set the Data Access Group using the drop-down list at the top right of the form. This is so a record can be assigned to a DAG at the moment of its creation.
- For records that have been assigned to a Data Access Group, it will now display their Data Access Group assignment under the record name on the Record Home Page.
- A PDF of record data for all instruments/events for a given record can now be downloaded from the “Choose action for record” drop-down on the Record Home Page if the user has Data Export privileges.
- A zip file containing all uploaded documents (or signature files) for an individual record can now be downloaded from the “Choose action for record” drop-down on the Record Home Page if the user has Data Export privileges.
- File Upload fields that are displayed on reports will no longer display the text “[document]”, but will instead provide a “Download” button so that the user can actually download the file from the report.