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The Automated Survey Invitation (ASI) is a powerful tool that lets you schedule sending an invitation(s) to a participant(s) to complete your survey(s) based on data that's been captured in the participant's record. 

Consider the following scenario: Your participants need to complete a group of 4 surveys every 30 days for 3 months after enrolling in your study and every participant has different enrollment date. Setting up an ASI would be a great solution for sending out an email invitation to each participant to complete your survey every 30 days after their enrollment for 3 months. You can even set up that ASI so it checks the participant's status and does not send an email if you input in their record that they dropped out of the study.

The other option is to manually schedule and send survey invitations, which often seems easier, but typically, that's only true during the development and testing phase of the project. Once the project is moved to production and enrolling participants over the course of six months, using the manual mechanism to send emails means the study team will need to dedicate significant resources to tracking which participants are eligible for which survey, and before they send the invitation, making sure the participant hasn't dropped out. The burden would be on the study team to not make a mistake, such as sending a survey to a participant who withdrew consent or sending an invitation to complete the survey at 60 days when it's only been 30 days since the participant enrolled.

We think ASIs are great because they reduce the burden on the study team to manage survey distribution, both time wise and risk wise.

Consider some of the common characteristics of research studies and common scenarios for sending out surveys, and how using ASIs would reduce the amount of the time and effort the study team would spend managing survey distribution.

Characteristic or Scenario

How ASI Meets Requirement

Rolling enrollment

ASI can send a survey invitation X number of days after a participant has enrolled in the study.

Follow up post participant event (encounter, visit, etc.)

ASI can send a survey invitation X number of days after specific time point, such as a discharge date, recorded in the participant's record.

Follow up with participant sub-sets

ASI can send a survey invitation to participants based on characteristics, such as age or diagnosis, recorded in the participant's record.

Stop sending surveys

ASI can cancel scheduled invitations and prevent sending future invitations for participants who've dropped out, opted out or rescinded consent.


Consider some of the common activities and issues all study teams collecting research data have to manage, and how using ASIs can reduce risk and promote best practices.

Activity or Issue

How ASI Addresses Issue

Reportable activitiesBecause you define ahead of time, the sender and the message, and create logic to trigger the invitations, using ASIs reduce the chance of sending non-IRB approved messages, sending emails from personnel not listed on the protocol, and sending survey invitations to participants who did not consent or who dropped out of the study.
User permissions

By using ASIs, study teams implement the principle of least privilege, limiting permission to Survey Distribution tools to users who have been to Survey training and/or have experience managing survey projects.

Participant communicationsBy setting up the sender to be the study team's generic email (if the study has one), using ASIs promote a single point of contact for participants that can be managed by more than one person on the study.

Get Help

For help setting up an ASI for your survey project: 1) review the notes in the hand out from Survey class, and then 2) sign up for drop-in.

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