Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Use of Tablet PCs for Efficient Electronic Data Capture during Provider Site Visits

Steve Nickell1, Betty Tran1, Claudia Aguiluz2, and Maria Volk2. (1) Immunization Branch, CA Dept. of Public Health, 850 Marina Bay Parkway, Richmond, CA, USA, (2) CDC/Immunization Services Division, Program Operations Branch, Richmond, CA, USA

Learning Objectives for this Presentation:
By the end of the presentation participants will be able to:
1.Recognize the data challenges of a large state VFC Program
2.Evaluate some options for electronic data capture in the field
3.Apply information presented to assess your own program needs

The California VFC program has responsibility for oversight of nearly 4,500 enrolled organizations/clinics. Each year, more than 1,200 onsite provider VFC/AFIX visits are completed. In the past, a paper-based quality assurance review (QAR) questionnaire containing nearly 200 distinct data elements was administered during site visits. Completed questionnaires were then mailed to the central office where the data was manually entered into an electronic database (Access) for later analysis and CDC reporting.
The current paper-based data gathering/data entry process is labor-intensive and inefficient. Newer mobile technologies utilizing small electronic devices offer ways to simplify and automate remote data gathering and data upload processes.

A large state VFC Program

VFC providers, field and program staff.

Project Description:
During an initial review process, several hardware/software options were considered but rejected because of state's IT concerns. A simple hardware/software solution that satisfied Program needs without violating state security requirements was then adopted. An electronic version (eQAR) of California's QAR tool was created and deployed to the field.

Results/Lessons Learned:
In September 2007, the California VFC program replaced the paper-based QAR questionnaire with an electronic version (eQAR) developed using SNAP survey software. Electronic surveys were deployed to the field using hand-held Tablet PCs that allow rapid and efficient data capture via touch-sensitive screens. Survey data is automatically exported as a text file that, when emailed in from the field, can be uploaded to the centralized database in a single step. A progress report on the deployment, including VFC field staff user satisfaction, will be presented.