REDCap Frequently Asked Questions

What is REDCap?

REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) is an easy-to-use, HIPAA compliant and secure web-based application. REDCap provides an easy and intuitive interface to develop and use both electronic data collection forms and surveys. REDCap is currently in use at 1,455 institutions in 88 countries around the world ( It is primarily used for clinical research, but has been used for operational support and QI projects as well.

Access to REDCap

If you are a researcher at Northwell Health and would like to use REDCap for your clinical research project, please click on this link to request access to this application (under “Name of Application you wish access to” select “REDCap” from the drop-down menu). Click here for a video that shows you how to request access to REDCap through Healthport.

Why should I use REDCap?

Ease and Control: REDCap has user-friendly database/survey building tools and enables research teams to have complete control over their data.

Compliance: an important reason studies use REDCap is for regulatory compliance. HIPPA policies require secure applications like REDCap to store ePHI (electronic protected health information), making sure data are transmitted and stored securely with audit trails showing who does what within the database.

Data Quality: REDCap offers tools that help ensure you collect good quality data and maintain this quality and validity.

Some features that enable regulatory compliance and improve and protect data quality include:

  • Easy-access audit trails and data history
  • E-signatures
  • Record locking
  • Data validation rules
  • Executable data quality rules
  • Custom report builder

For additional information, read the article “Why switch from Excel/Access to REDCap?” from the University of Minnesota.

What types of studies use REDCap?

REDCap is typically ideal for chart reviews and prospective clinical research studies, but many other projects use it too. For certain projects like registries, repositories, and others with an indefinite timeframe, REDCap might not be ideal. Many of these projects are referred to the Biostatistics Unit and their Biostatics Unit Database Designed for You (BUDDY) system. Contact Lara Lechtenberg at to discuss the particulars of your projects.

How do I get access to an account?

If you are a researcher at Northwell Health and would like to use REDCap for your clinical research project, please click here to request access to this application (under “Name of Application you wish access to” select “REDCap” from the drop-down menu).  Click here for a video that shows you how to request access to REDCap through Healthport.

How much does REDCap cost?

  • $500 one-time access fee per division: In order to make REDcap a more sustainable endeavor at Northwell Health, Research Information Systems has implemented a chargeback of $500 for each division that uses REDCap. This one-time only fee to support REDCap at Northwell Health. This divisional charge is not a per-project or per-user fee—it is the same regardless of whether there is one investigator doing one study using REDcap, or many investigators and studies using REDCap.
  • After the 1-time access fee, use of REDcap is free of charge within a division unless a project wishes to use additional REDCap services, such as having a Research Information Systems Project Manager develop the REDCap database, handle a data transfer, or use advanced programming like API or DDP.
  • Each project can receive a free 1 hour consultation with a Research Information Systems Project Manager about how to best design/manager their project. Please contact Project Manager Lara Lechtenberg ( to schedule a consultation.
  • Training through CLI classes or on-site presentations is free of charge. See training schedule below and enroll in CLI clasess through iLearn.

When are classes offered at CLI?

Monthly training at Center for Learning and Innovation with both REDCap Overview and Intermediate classes. Sign on to iLearn and search for “REDCap” to see upcoming class dates and times for both Overview and Intermediate classes.

Click here for Online Training Videos (accessible only with a REDCap account)
Click here for Help & FAQ section (accessible only with a REDCap account)

What additional/advanced services does RIS offer for REDCap projects?

The following services are available from RIS for your REDCap projects at a cost of $60-$100/hr.

  • Database development
  • Data migration from existing database/spreadsheet into REDCap
  • Advanced functionality require programmer services
  • Integration with external devices (e.g. FitBit)
  • Integration with external systems
  • API (Application Program Interface)
  • Plugins
  • DDP (Dynamic Data Pull)
  • DTS (Data Transfer Service)

Contact Lara Lechtenberg ( to discuss additional REDCap services from RIS.

How do I switch from my current database or spreadsheet to REDCap?

REDCap has a simple Data Import Tool that is used to import existing off-line data into a REDCap project. The complexity of this process depends on the project and how clean existing data are. When you are in your REDCap project, click on the Import Tool beneath Applications to read detailed instructions on its use.

I’m not using REDCap for my study and don’t want to switch from my current database system. Is that ok?

It might be, but if you do not use REDCap or the BUDDY system to manage your data, please contact Research Information Systems ( to have your system vetted to ensure security and compliance. Joe Baskin is the Manager of Research Information Security and can answer your questions about security and research databases. Please contact him through .

I have lots of questions and don’t know where to start. Who should I contact?

The Research Information Systems (RIS) department at the Feinstein exists to help you when deciding how to store and manage your data. When you are starting a new study or have questions about an existing one, contact the REDCap Project Manager, Lara Lechtenberg, to discuss your needs. Please email RIS at

I don’t know much about REDCap but need to explain it in my study protocol and/or grant application. Are there templates or standard language for me to use if needed?

  • REDCap template for Grants
  • REDCap template for IRB protocols
  • Randomization in REDCap: template for Statistical Plan in IRB protocol
  • REDCap citation for manuscripts

What online training and other learning resources are available?

  • Links to REDCap Training Videos
  • REDCap New User Communication
  • The Feinstein REDCap Overview
  • Memo: REDCap access for those unable to obtain a email addresses
  • Memo: REDCap access for non-Northwell Health collaborators who do not have Universal IDs


More questions about REDCap?
Contact Lara Lechtenberg at