Background: The H1N1 mass vaccination campaign is an excellent chance for providers to “test drive” registry software without a long-term commitment. Since Riverside County recently transitioned to new software, it was viewed as the perfect opportunity to introduce new providers to the California Immunization Registry (CAIR).
Objectives: Adapt marketing and training activities to encourage reporting to CAIR by providing accelerated enrollment and just-in-time training. Evaluate the effectiveness of these activities by determining how many providers enrolling specifically for H1N1 reporting use CAIR.
Methods: A simplified mass marketing campaign was directed to providers who enrolled on www.CalPanFlu.org to order H1N1 vaccine. New contacts and inactive providers received a faxed letter outlining the benefits of using CAIR to report H1N1 doses. The concept of taking CAIR for a “test drive” was emphasized. Providers new to CAIR were sent enrollment forms. Once the enrollment forms were returned, the goal was to complete enrollment and training within one week. Provider participation was assessed six weeks into the campaign using the Provider Status Report (PSR) application.
Results: Without additional follow-up to initial marketing, twenty percent of providers enrolled in CAIR for H1N1 reporting. Using H1N1-specific training materials and a targeted training approach reduced total training time by more than two-thirds. The average wait between enrollment and training was just under 5 business days. Thirty percent of providers received training on the day they enrolled, and 90% were trained within 10 business days. Historically, the average length of time between initiation of enrollment and completion of training was 17 weeks. An evaluation of provider activity using PSR revealed that 85% of the providers who enrolled in CAIR for H1N1 were using the registry to report doses administered.
Conclusions: Registry recruitment and training should not be halted during a public health emergency. Even when staff time available for these activities is limited, streamlined activities can make an impact. Promoting registry use for a trial period can attract offices who would otherwise be too busy to participate. On-going provider retention strategies will be implemented over the next month to evaluate whether this campaign creates “event-specific” or on-going registry users.