Patient Experience With, and Use Of, an Electronic Monitoring System to Assess Vaccination Responses

Published in: Health Expectations, v. 9, no. 2, June 2006, p. 110-117

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2006

by Stuart S. Olmsted, John Grabenstein, Arvind Jain, Nicole Lurie

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OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the user experience and acceptability of an electronic patient monitoring system. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: 822 Military and civilian personnel at a health clinic at a major US military headquarters used an Internet and telephone-based electronic monitoring system to report vaccination-site responses and symptoms after receiving the smallpox vaccination. Focus groups of vaccinees were conducted to help develop a survey about the experience that was distributed to 379 vaccinees (96% completion rate). RESULTS: Users of the electronic monitoring system reported that it was fast and easy to use and reported they would use a system like this again and recommend an electronic monitoring system to a friend or relative. Most users (84%) were comfortable with a physician tracking their vaccine reaction using their electronic reports, but only half (51%) were comfortable with eliminating the post-vaccination follow-up visit with their health-care provider based on their electronic reports. CONCLUSIONS: This electronic monitoring system was well received by vaccinees and allowed health-care providers to track the status of vaccinees. However, vaccinees were not comfortable replacing a physician visit with electronic monitoring, at least for the smallpox vaccination. A monitoring system like this may be useful in public health settings, such as mass vaccination or prophylaxis during a bioterrorism event, a pandemic influenza outbreak, or another public health emergency.

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