Clinical data management is a subset of medical data management that deals with the coding and verification of data generated clinical trials that test new pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Because they handle all of the sensitive electronic data generated the clinical trial, clinical data managers are an essential part of clinical research trials. A college degree, experience in a medical field, and certification from a clinical data management training program at a university or technical school are usually required for a career in clinical data management.
A clinical data manager’s job entails a wide range of expertise and skill sets. The clinical data manager receives patient data in a medical research trial, checks it for typographical errors, checks for logical or other errors, and then sends the errors back to the medical professionals conducting the trial. Clinical data managers must have a thorough understanding of medical coding, how to use a clinical data management system, clinical trial procedures, medical ethics, database management, and other job-related topics in order to perform all of these tasks. All of these skills are used clinical data managers to ensure that the electronic data collected from a clinical trial is accurate and useful to medical researchers.
While medical coding systems are used in many careers to assist medical professionals, clinical data management requires more than just medical coding knowledge. Clinical data managers must possess strong data management skills as well as a thorough understanding of medical terminology. A college degree in a health-related field and completion of a training and certification program are usually required for people interested in a career in clinical data management. Many employers also require work experience in medical coding or clinical trials. Clinical data managers can increase their earning potential and expand their employment options completing a clinical data manager training and certification program.
Universities and technical colleges offer a variety of clinical data management training and certification programs. People interested in working as clinical data managers in the medical research field can learn in a traditional classroom setting or online. Clinical data management certification programs are usually open to people who already work in medical coding or biomedical research. Universities may offer clinical trial procedures training as part of their post-baccalaureate certification programs.