August is holiday season for the northern hemisphere regions. Those of you down “under” (Santiago, Cape Town, Sydney, Christchurch) are hopefully enjoying a lovely winter. 😊

Summer holidays in the UK are a very much anticipated annual ritual. Whether one spends the holiday time pootling around the garden, sightseeing locally, visiting friends and family or yachting across the Atlantic, time away from daily work tasks (even when working from home!) is necessary to recharge mentally and physically. The worldwide travel advisories due to the Covid-19 crisis have made for a difficult and frustrating time for those of us who wish to holiday abroad.

As such, I have found myself, over the past few weeks, dealing with a significant magnitude of data information entry:

  • Data entry for multiple refund requests for cancelled holidays
  • Submitting personal track/trace details to destination governments x 2
  • Submitting personal track/trace details to UK government for return arrival
  • Data entry for new groups of 10 and 6 persons for separate trips
  • Keeping track of all the various reservation numbers – new and cancelled
  • Keeping track of the refunds received

Yes, at one point thought I would require an excel spreadsheet to track all of the changes…..

The process was fraught with challenges and of course, human beings invariably make mistakes:  

  • Clicked wrong button during refund requests which lead to multiple phone queries to update status
  • Destination government forms were unwieldy, difficult to understand, unclear where the individual data points were to be captured, all undertaken without clear guidance
  • Spelled my husband’s name incorrectly (LOL) thankfully discovered prior to boarding pass issue
  • Needed to double and triple check each “numbered” entry such as birthdates and passport details from the individual source documents

I am a regular user of on-line forms and databases. I can image how those individuals not familiar with such processes would struggle to complete each field accurately.

  • Is the data saved whenever I move to the next page?
  • Can I go back and change the information?
  • Why am I getting an error message?
  • Why do I have to re-enter the same data every time?
  • Did the form save correctly?
  • Will I be charged for a mistake?
  • I don’t understand what data the field is requesting
  • If the form is incorrect will I be denied entry at my destination?

The holiday data entry requirements were laborious due to its manual process, coupled with the nonintuitive nature of the form designs. For those non-Regulatory Affairs personnel in the medical device industry who are performing these same input tasks in relation to their holiday travels, try to imagine multiplying those data management requirements by 10xx as appropriate per 1000’s of device product codes.     

Misspelling my husband’s name for the holiday flight could have cost me £50. Misspelling and incorrect data entry for your medical device information will certainly cost your firm much more.

May everyone have a safe and restful holiday.

kimyoung@instem.com

K Young