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Delphi Processes to Establish Core Minimum Data

The Coordinating Center supports the CRNs by convening stakeholders and leading a Delphi process to facilitate consensus on important aspects of registry advancement, such as the development of a core minimum dataset.

Undergoing a Delphi process is a preferred method for reaching concordance about a core minimum dataset as there are many challenges to the traditional consensus panel approaches, such as the impact of a single person with a strong personality or the lack of anonymity, which may introduce bias. As a result, the Delphi process was developed to achieve consensus while minimizing bias inherent in group dynamics and face-to-face responses.

The below figure shows the working process of the Delphi method:


During a Delphi process, the first series of questionnaires are sent to the panel and answered by each expert anonymously and individually. From the questionnaires, experts have an opportunity to introduce new options and suggestions between rounds. Results are analyzed to identify responses with strong consensus (e.g. >50%). Data elements that lack consensus are automatically dropped (<50%) This process is repeated 2-3 times until a group consensus is reached.

MDEpiNet utilizes this process in various CRN efforts:

  • Robotic-Assisted Surgical Devices (RASD)

  • Study of Prostate Ablation Related Energy Devices (SPARED)

  • Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)

  • International Consortium of Vascular Registries (ICVR)

  • Women’s Health Technologies (WHT): The WHT-CRN’s clinical working groups (sterilization/long acting reversible contraceptives, pelvic organ prolapse, and uterine fibroids) have made substantial progress to include additional stakeholders (e.g., patient partners) by using the Delphi method to create core minimum datasets from the initial list of clinical elements identified.

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