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 3036 institutions in 126 countries around the world. It is primarily used for clinical research, but has been used for operational support and QI projects as well.

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?” published by the University of Minnesota.

Access to REDCap for Northwell Health Employees

If you are a Northwell Health employee, you can log into REDCap using your universal id and password.

Access to REDCap for non-Northwell Health Employees

In order to provide access to REDCap for external research collaborators, a PI or research coordinator must request Active Directory (AD) access for them. To request the AD account please submit a ticket through the IT Service Desk by clicking here.


  • Please make sure to select External Research Collaborator for Account Type.
  • The following information regarding your collaborator must be provided in the ticket details:
    • Collaborator Name
    • Email
    • Phone
    • Home Institution
    • Exact affiliation with Northwell Health (co-I, etc)
  • The collaborator must sign a Confidentiality Agreement. The link to Confidentiality Agreement form is provided within the AD account request form.  The requester must email the link to their collaborator.
  • The IT Account Control will contact the external collaborator by phone in order to get their password set up.

How much does REDCap cost?

  • Use of REDcap is free of charge for Northwell Health Researchers.
  • Each project can receive a free 1 hour consultation with a Center for Research Informatics & Innovation Project Manager about how to best design/manager their project. Please contact REDCap administrator ( to schedule a consultation.
  • Training through CLI classes or on-site presentations is free of charge. See training schedule below and enroll in CLI classes through iLearn.

When are classes offered at CLI?

Every month one REDCap overview class and one intermediate class are taught by the members of our group at the Center for Learning and Innovation (1979 Marcus Ave). Sign in to iLearn and search for “REDCap” to see upcoming class dates and times for both overview and intermediate classes.

What additional/advanced services are available for REDCap projects?

The following services are available from Center for Research Informatics & Innovation for your REDCap projects at a cost of $100-$150/hr.

  • Database design
  • Forms/Instruments/Survey development
  • Data migration from existing database/spreadsheet into your REDCap project
  • Data migration from your REDCap project
  • Integration with EMR systems
  • Advanced functionality that requires programmer services (e.g, API, plugins, hooks)
  • Integration with external devices (e.g. FitBit)
  • Advanced reporting (e.g. Tableau, SSRS)
  • DDP (Dynamic Data Pull)

Please contact REDCap administrator ( to discuss additional REDCap services.

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 Center for Research Informatics & Innovation ( to have your system vetted to ensure security and compliance.

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

Our IT experts can help you to choose the best available solution for storing and managing your data. When you are starting a new study or have questions about an existing one, contact Center for Research Informatics & Innovation (, to discuss your needs.

What online training and other learning resources are available?

More questions about REDCap?

Contact REDCap administrator at