Question: How does REDCap link or track information for one patient between forms?

Tip: Enter trial or fake data to see how your data base works, this can be done with data entry forms as well as surveys.

So now you are done building your database with data collections forms, but how do I enter data and more importantly how does REDCap link data or responses for a single person?             

The easiest way to understand how REDCap links data for a person is to create a test database and enter some fake data. Use the templates on the “create a new project” page to quickly and easily create a project to test. The longitudinal database is a great template to test enter data.


Now go and add some fake data!


After you enter a record ID number you will be routed to the Record Home page.

You will see a grid or a patient specific record status dashboard that displays the form by form progress of your data entry for a selected record or a record you have just added. Note above the grid it tells you the patient study ID as well as in the left tool bar and at the top of the page.

Notice at the top of the grid are the events that were made as part of this template and that different forms are assigned for different events.

By clicking on the demographics gray dot you will navigate to the demographics data entry form for the enrollment event. Clicking on any of the gray dots will navigate you to that form.


Now we are in the demographics form. You can see the study ID of our patient at the top of the form as well as in the left tool bar under data collection. You will also see the other data entry forms for the current event (enrollment). Enter some fake data into this form and then click the save and go to the next form button on the bottom.


Notice as you progress through the forms you can track your progress for this particular patient in the left tool bar. You can also see their study ID listed at the top. Once you fill in some fake data in the Baseline data form you will notice you can no longer see the “save and go to the next form”. This is because we have finished data entry for this event so we can click “save and exit form” which will navigate us back to the record home page.


We will now see all the data for enrollment is complete. Now add some data for visit 1 and visit 2, you can do this by clicking on the respective gray dots for the form under the visit events.


Now we can take a look at what that data looks like from the record status dashboard.


We can also look at how our data will look on export by clicking on data exports on the left applications tool bar and then clicking on view report.


You can now see the data for one person across different events. Scroll to the right to see the other data you entered for the “visit 1” and “visit 2” events.


Similarly add another new fake patient under “add/edit records” so we can see how the system accommodates numerous individuals. After you have entered another fake patient go to the record status dashboard under the data collection toolbar to see all your data so far.


Now go back to the data exports, repots and stats application and click view report. You will see your new data is associated with the new study ID you entered.


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