Can Public Health Technology Be Customer-Oriented and Efficient? The San Diego Immunization Information Highway 2008
Patricia Biritz1, Amber Van Waas2, Alicia Roseti3, Carol Quinn3, and Michelle De Guire3. (1) San Diego Immunization Partnership, a UCSD contract with the SD County, 9500 Gilman Drive # 0720, La Jolla, CA, USA, (2) San Diego Immunization Partnership, a UCSD contract with the SD County Immunization Branch, 9500 Gilman Drive # 0720, # 0720, La Jolla, CA, USA, (3) San Diego Immunization Partnership, a UCSD contract with the SD County Immunization Branch, UC San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, #0720, La Jolla, CA, USA
Learning Objectives for this Presentation: By the end of the presentation participants will be able to 1) describe the advantages of using the internet to communicate with a variety of audiences 2) identify two examples of technology-based communication that can be used in any setting.
Background: The San Diego Immunization Branch (SDIB) maintains a full-time help desk for the public. Information is provided over the phone in English and Spanish, and calls are responded to immediately. The highest volume of information requests has been for travel information and immunization materials. A supplementary mechanism was needed to provide more efficient service and mitigate the burden on staff without reducing customer service.
Setting: County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency
Population: Medical providers, school personnel, community-based organizations, the general public and collaborators working with the Immunization Branch.
Project Description: While never discounting the importance of one-on-one phone contact with the community, SDIB has developed and added an On-Line Materials Ordering System and a Travel Vaccines Information Section to the comprehensive catalog of services and information offered on the Branch website. Callers seeking materials are referred to a site with an illustrated catalogue of available resources. After an order is placed the customer receives an email confirming the order with approximate delivery time. The Travel site provides physician contact information, languages spoken, office hours and other considerations.
Results/Lessons Learned: The on-line ordering system and Travel site have been enthusiastically adopted by callers and the provider community. SDIB's Support Staff Team spend less time per call and the quality of service has improved. Public Health Nurses are able to spend more time on clinical issues, and the Branch is able handle an increased number of calls during periods of high volume, such as back-to-school and influenza campaign seasons. A short, easy-to-remember URL is essential.