Articles tagged with 'TrialGrid'

Compliance Detail Report - Now with more Detail

One of the key features of TrialGrid is the ability to track and explain deviations in study designs from standard libraries. But until now it was difficult to view the non-deviations, i.e. the attributes of studies that match the library or which are allowed changes from the library.

The Compliance Detail report always included details of deviations:

  • Added or removed objects
  • Changed attributes (Active/Inactive, Help Text changes etc)
  • Objects and attributes where standard rules failed

But you can now control what it reports including:

  • Objects which exactly match their library counterparts
  • Attributes which are different but allowed to change (for Form and Field attributes)
  • Objects which have been added but which are allowed to be added (e.g. new Fields on Forms where the Form allows additions)
  • Objects which have been removed but which are allowed to be removed (e.g. Fields removed from Forms where the field is not required by standards)
  • Objects and attributes where there are differences but standard rules have passed

The report is presented in Excel format with the differences tab showing object-by-object and attribute-by-attribute results.

Choose report

In the above report we can see that most attributes match the library exactly but the Active attribute of the AE form has been changed from True to False. Since it is in Excel format the report can easily be sorted and filtered to perform your own compliance analysis. This can help identify opportunities for new library allowed change settings or standard rules.

How to generate the report

To generate the report first navigate to the compliance report page for the study, click the drop-down next to the report button and choose the Compliance Detail Report option:

Choose report

A dialog appears asking you what types of deviations or non-deviations you want to include in the report:

Select contents

The more detail you choose the longer the report will take to generate.


Once the report is generated it will automatically be downloaded by your browser for viewing.


The new content in the Compliance Detail Report gives organizations more information about the compliance (or non-compliance) of their study builds. This report can be used to generate your own metrics on compliance or as a useful tool to identify common changes which are flagged as non-conformance which could be relaxed by new library rules or allowed changes.

Property Sheets for Folders

One of the benefits of adopting TrialGrid for Rave study build is the ability to use spreadsheet-like editing for Form Fields and Edit Checks. For just over a year now this facility has also been available for Folders.

Editing a set of folders in a spreadsheet view is very convenient and time-saving. This view allows copying and pasting direct from Microsoft Excel, re-ordering of ordinals via drag and drop, filtering of columns and undo/redo of changes:

Folder sheet in action

Adding a Property Sheet view for folders is easy. First add a new Folder Property sheet from the Property sheets section of your URL in TrialGrid:

Adding a folder sheet

Name the sheet and set it Active. If you want to define more than one property sheet for Folders you can set an Ordinal for the sheet which will define where it appears in the list of available sheets.

Name the folder sheet

Next assign the users who are able to see and use this sheet. You can assign it to all users, project owners or users with specific roles in a Project.

Assign Users

Finally, select which attributes of Folders you want to include in the property sheet, the headings that will appear in the spreadsheet view and any help text you want to show users. In this view you can also include any custom properties you have defined for Folders in TrialGrid - custom properties can be used for documentation or storing standards identifiers for example.

Assign Users

Save the sheet and that's it, your property sheet is ready to use and will appear for the users it is assigned to in the Folder listing of every Draft in your URL:

Folder Sheet Selection


Property sheets provide a very convenient method of editing Folders, especially the subject calendar values. Setting up Property sheet for Folders is easy and the sheet can be customized to only include key fields.

Fine grained approvals for Standards Compliance

When you are working with Standard Libraries of Forms, Data Dictionaries, Edit Checks and other types of Medidata Rave study design objects it is normal to have deviations from the standard defined by the matching object in the library.

For example, you might add or remove an entry from a Data Dictionary or you might change the question text of a Field on a Form.

Some of these deviations from the library object are expected: A neonatal study may collect age in days or weeks rather than in years for example, but some of these deviations may require review by a Standards Librarian or Standards Manager.

Old Standards Compliance Workflow

Since 2016 the TrialGrid system has had a review workflow for differences from the Standard Library. We call this the Standards Compliance Workflow. Up until now, an object which deviated from the standard would be flagged as an unexplained deviation. The study builder or programmer could request approval for the object and this would notify a Standards Librarian to review the object and approve or deny the deviation. If the object was changed again, any approval would be removed, rather like an investigator signature in Rave EDC, and the workflow would return to Unexplained and require re-approval.

New Standards Compliance Workflow

This week we released an update to our standard compliance which uses this workflow on a per-change basis. Previously approvals were requested and granted on a per-object basis e.g.

  1. "This Form has deviated from standard please approve".

Now approvals are per-change this single request might now be two individual requests:

  1. "The Field AGE in Form DM now has a FixedUnit of 'weeks'. Please approve."
  2. "The AGE_UNITS Field in Form DM has been removed. Please approve"

With the new system the Standard Librarian can review each change individually and approve/deny it. The overall Form status would be the worst status (Denied or Unexplained) with the Form getting approved status only if all the deviations had been approved.

In this screenshot we see the comparison between a Form and its equivalent in the standard library filtered to just show the differences. We can see the differences have different explanation states as denoted by their colors:

Detailed Explanations

The counts of differences and their workflow states are also show in listings as shown in this Form list:

Differences List

These listings can be filtered to show only items where explanation is required or where approval has been requested to make it easy for Study Builders or Standard Librarians to find objects requiring their attention.

Advantages of new approach

This new approach improves dialog between Study Builder and Standards Librarian because each change can be individually discussed. The explanations, requests for approval and approvals are all stored at the Project level so if a change in a Field definition is approved in Draft1 then this exact change does not have to be re-approved in Draft 2 and Draft 3 which significantly reduces the workload for both Study Builders and Standards Librarians.

With these fine-grained approvals it is easier to spot trends and gather metrics on deviations from the standard library so that the usage instructions for library objects can be improved. The TrialGrid system also has a number of features which allow expected deviations to be encoded in the library. These expected deviations do not have to be explained, they are automatically approved, again improving the efficiency of the team.

Batch Approval

One consequence of having per-difference approvals is that the number of changes to be reviewed is increased. Previously there might be a request to review five Forms, under the new system this might be a request to review thirty changes across those same five Forms. New features of the standards approval listings allow Standard Librarians to search and filter these requests and approve/deny them in batch.

Bulk Approved Requests

Similar functionality is available for study builders requesting approval for changes to an object. If they make changes to a Form they can request approval for those changes individually or make a request for all the changes in a batch.

Bulk Approval Request

Conditional Approval

Our old workflow process had four states:

  1. Unexplained - A change has been made but the Study Builder has not yet requested approval for it (they may still be working on it with further changes expected)

  2. Approval Requested - The Study Builder has finalized their work (for now) and is requesting approval for the deviation from the standard.

  3. Approved - A Standards Librarian has reviewed the deviation and approved it.

  4. Denied - A Standards Librarian has reviewed the deviation and has rejected it, signalling that the Study Builder should change the object design before requesting approval again or revert it to the standard.

The new process adds a new state Conditionally Approved which is a signal that the Standards Librarian is accepting this deviation for now but will want to review this decision later. This is useful where the deviation is the addition of a new object such as a Form or an Edit Check which does not exist in the library. There can be no detailed comparison between this new object and the library because it does not exist in the library. The Standards Librarian may want to give a go-ahead to allow the new Form or Edit Check to exist but re-review it at a later stage to ensure that it is compliant with the principles of the library when it is finalized.


The use of Standard Libraries is highly recommended to improve the speed and efficiency of study build but deviations from the standard are inevitable. The ability to review and approve deviations and to capture detailed information about the types of deviations and reasons for them is important for continuous improvement of the Libraries and team efficiency.

The TrialGrid system can be used for Medidata Rave study build activities where this standards-compliance feedback is available in real-time or it can be used after study build is complete to perform comparisons between the library and the as-built study in a postmortem or lessons-learned exercise.

Either way, an organization will gain insight into how and why their study builds deviate from their library standards.