25388 Leveraging IIS and Emailing Services for Health Education

Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Columbia Hall

Background:  In January 2010, the Washington State Department of Health Immunization Program CHILD Profile received an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant to create e-mail functionality in CHILD Profile, the program’s immunization information system (IIS), and reach more kids and adults with health information to raise immunization rates. The IIS includes a health promotion component serving as a centralized, enhanced immunization reminder system that mails parents of kids aged birth to six regular health and safety information. Mailings are sent at 17 age-specific intervals.  They include immunization and well-child visit reminders and information on nutrition, development, safety, and more.  By leveraging the IIS’s tools and technologies, parents and other caregivers could get these messages by email. The program contracted with Scientific Technologies Corporation (STC) to do an assessment, make recommendations, and complete system modifications for new IIS functionality.  During its assessment, STC talked to 90 people, including parents.  Overall, parents liked the idea of emailed messages and extending them to other people.  All respondents saw the benefit of using email for health communication.  The program is considering implications of emailed health messages, especially when the public is already overwhelmed by email.  This will be the largest effort of its kind undertaken by the state health department. 

Setting: Washington State

Population: Parents, caregivers, friends, and providers of kids aged 0-6

Project Description: The project focuses on enhancing CHILD Profile to support emailed health messages to current and expanded audiences.  The implemented design includes an opt-in interface, export file for use with a third-party email service, and import interface/business logic to manage delivery status updates.

Results/Lessons Learned: By implementing an email option, the program can cost effectively reach a broader audience.  Privacy, Internet access, and best practices were addressed based on stakeholder feedback.  Use of a third-party email service is more cost effective and offers more tracking and reporting tools.