A Survey of Clinical Investigators and Their Information Processing Activities

by Norman A. Palley, Gabriel F. Groner

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Discusses the design, execution, and preliminary results of a personal interview survey of clinical investigators at 23 General Clinical Research Centers. The aim of the survey was to develop a characterization of the clinical research process, to verify the existence of problem areas amenable to information science solutions, and to provide a database for initial design specifications of a computer system to assist clinical investigators in their data manipulation tasks. The results (1) verify the low utilization of large computer centers by clinical investigators; (2) identify data processing impediments to clinical research; (3) suggest benefits that might result from their alleviation; (4) provide broad design parameters for a data storage, retrieval, and manipulation system; (5) underline the need for human assistance as well as hardware and software; and (6) document the enthusiasm of clinical investigators about the development and support of a well designed data manipulation tool.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.