Background: Prospective trial registration is widely accepted as an essential process to improve transparency and reduce research waste. As a primary registry in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Registry Network, it is important for the ANZCTR to provide a user-friendly interface which facilitates trial registration and encourages users to keep their records up-to-date.
ANZCTR staff are required to review all registration and update submissions and email queries to the registrant if the WHO minimum dataset items are not completed to an acceptable standard, or if there are inconsistencies or errors in the information provided. The registrant must address these queries and re-submit the record for further review. Often a number of querying rounds are required.
Objectives: To implement processes which improve the usability and efficiency of the ANZCTR registration and updating procedures, without compromising quality and completeness.
Methods: ANZCTR administrative and Information Technology (IT) staff devised new logic rules to increase automation when completing and updating the registration form. For example, if registrants selected that their study was ‘Not yet recruiting’, they were not able to enter any data in the ‘Date of first participant enrolment’ field.
We compared querying patterns for a period prior to, and following, implementation of the new logic rules in order to evaluate their effectiveness.
Results: Since implementation of the new logic rules on 4 October 2016, there has been a decrease in the amount of querying required by staff, particularly for update submissions. From January to September 2016 (the pre-logic rules period), an average of 55% of submitted updates required at least one round of querying by staff. From October 2016 to January 2017 (the post-logic rules period), this proportion decreased to 38% (see Figure).
Conclusions: Implementation of logic rules within the ANZCTR registration and updating process was effective in reducing the amount of querying required by staff, thereby improving efficiency for users.