We are revising some plates for an ongoing study and want to remove several data fields. However, most of these fields contain data in the database. Can we safely delete these fields from DFsetup or is there a different way we should handle this modification?

We are revising some plates for an ongoing study and want to remove several data fields. However, most of these fields contain data in the database. Can we safely delete these fields from DFsetup or is there a different way we should handle this modification?
September 6, 2018 Eric Bosch

If you delete fields from DFsetup, the server will delete these data fields and any meta data associated with them when you save the setup changes. Once deleted the data will no longer be available. In general this is not recommended in a clinical trial. Instead of deleting fields they could be hidden. This can be accomplished in 2 ways:

  1. using the Hidden field property in DFsetup will hide the fields from any user who has a study role that can not see hidden fields, or
  2. edit check function dfaccess can be used to mask or hide fields from specified users or study roles.

Hidden fields will not be visible in DFexplore, yet their data and meta data will be preserved in the database should you ever need to retrieve them.