A Three-foot Long Baby... and Other Scary Data Errors in Clinical Trials

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3 foot long baby

With Halloween around the corner, I thought it was the perfect time to highlight what some of the ridiculous data errors that pop-up in clinical research would look in real life. 

Some of the statistics and data entered in clinical trials are more appropriate for the cover of National Enquirer than a scientific study. Can you imagine a three-foot long newborn baby? And the idea of 75 drinks a week also may raise some eyebrows. But these are just a couple of the real life examples of the freakish data errors that can slip between the cracks in clinical trials.

Of course, these types of mistakes are more likely to be avoided by using risk-based monitoring (RBM) and software in clinical trials. On average, CRAs using RBM are 3 weeks faster at reviewing data, spend one-third fewer days at sites and there are 25% fewer non-enrolling sites. On the flip side, clinical trial sites that still use source data verification are less efficient, and the process has been found to result in changes to less than 3% of data.

It’s the perfect time of year to talk about the spooky data mistakes in clinical trials! What other errors have you come across? We’d love to hear from you, so leave a comment below and share the scariest numbers and mistakes you’ve seen in clinical trials.

In the meantime, check out the frightening data outlier of newborn length taken from a clinical trial...

 

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Barbara Elashoff