Development of a customised data management system for a COVID-19-adapted colorectal cancer pathway

Janice Miller, Frances Gunn, Malcolm G Dunlop, Farhat VN Din, Yasuko Maeda*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives A customised data management system was required for a rapidly implemented COVID-19-adapted colorectal cancer pathway in order to mitigate the risks of delayed and missed diagnoses during the pandemic. We assessed its performance and robustness.

Methods A system was developed using Microsoft Excel (2007) to retain the spreadsheets’ intuitiveness of direct data entry. Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) was used to construct a user-friendly interface to enhance efficiency of data entry and segregate the data for operational tasks.

Results Large data segregation was possible using VBA macros. Data validation and conditional formatting minimised data entry errors. Computation by the COUNT function facilitated live data monitoring.

Conclusion It is possible to rapidly implement a makeshift database system with clinicians’ regular input. Large-volume data management using a spreadsheet system is possible with appropriate data definition and VBA-programmed data segregation. The described concept is applicable to any data management system construction requiring speed and flexibility in a resource-limited situation.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere100307
JournalBMJ Health & Care Informatics
Issue number1
Early online date28 Jul 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Jul 2021


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