RIO™ (Reporting Information Online) is an internet-based surveillance software developed under the direction of Dr. Dawn Comstock by Research Information Services, the information technology support service for The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s. This powerful yet flexible surveillance software is the centerpiece of Dr. Comstock’s injury surveillance research.
The first version of the RIO™ software was developed in 2004 to provide Dr. Comstock with a time and cost effective source for a user friendly, easy to navigate, easy to access internet-based data collection tool that could be used to conduct injury surveillance research in large, geographically dispersed populations of reporters that were submitting large amounts of data at consistent intervals over a long study period. RIO™ is a real-time data collection tool that allows reporters 24/7 access to input, revise and update data reports either at the designated reporting time (i.e., weekly, etc.) or retrospectively.
Dr. Comstock has utilized the RIO™ software to conduct multiple injury surveillance studies in large nationally dispersed study samples including:
Data captured in these studies are used to identify the rates, patterns and trends in adverse events among physically active participants of such activities in order to drive the development of evidence-based, targeted interventions to improve the health and safety of these populations by lowering the number and/or severity of adverse events such as injuries and illnesses.
The RIO™ software is extremely well suited to prospective surveillance studies. It allows multiple administrations of the same questionnaire over long periods of time (e.g., once a week throughout the academic year, once a week during a summer camp session, etc.) in order to obtain both exposure data (e.g., number of athletic exposures, number of camper-days, etc.) and outcome data (e.g., number of injuries and detailed information about each injury, etc.) from large, geographically dispersed study populations.
Specific strengths of the RIO™ software include:
Over the course of multiple studies using the RIO™ software, Dr. Comstock and her staff have developed an expertise with internet-based surveillance studies. The knowledge gained over the course of several years of injury epidemiology research using this software may assist other researchers interested in using the RIO™ software (or other internet-based tools). Those interested in using the RIO™ software or in gaining assistance with study design, creating survey tools, implementing and maintaining large surveillance studies, analyzing and interpreting surveillance data or using surveillance data to develop preventive interventions/make policy recommendations to improve health outcomes and reduce risk in physically active populations can contact Dr. Comstock at HighSchoolRIO@NationwideChildrens.org or (614) 355-5850.