A critical component of the 2009 H1N1 vaccination campaign was the collection of immunization data at the point of care. To meet reporting requirements and to ensure timely availability of coverage information, many jurisdictions across Canada employed new or modified approaches to vaccine data collection. The objective of this study was to observe and characterize the range of influenza immunization data collection approaches used across Canada.
As part of a multi-stage observational study, the research team visited immunization clinics at which tasks related to data collection and management were observed. Tasks included registration, medical history collection and review, vaccine record-keeping, proof of vaccination preparation, and data entry. Field notes were analyzed in order to understand the data collection mechanisms that comprised each information system as a whole.
Data collection mechanisms were grouped into two categories: electronic systems (9/38), in which all data were captured on computer; and hybrid systems (29/38), comprised of computerized and paper-based data collection tasks. Observed systems included stand-alone databases, immunization registries, and electronic health records. Organizations incorporated magnetic card reader technology, telephone registration, and pre-populated fields into data collection approaches. Electronic systems captured a greater number of data elements.
Canadian jurisdictions employed a range of data collection approaches during the H1N1 vaccination campaign. System characteristics can have important implications for on-site efficiency and organization as well as program planning and evaluation. The systems observed have been described in detail to allow vaccine providers and planners to learn from what has been done elsewhere.
The collection of individual-level pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza immunization data was considered important to facilitate optimal vaccine delivery and accurate assessment of vaccine coverage. These data are also critical for research aimed at evaluating the new vaccine's safety and effectiveness. Systems used to collect immunization data include manual approaches in which data are collected and retained on paper, electronic systems in which data are captured on computer at the point of vaccination and hybrid systems which are comprised of both computerized and manual data collection components. This study's objective was to compare the efficiencies and perceptions of data collection methods employed during Canada's pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza vaccination campaign.
A pan-Canadian observational study was conducted in a convenience sample of public health clinics and healthcare institutions during the H1N1 vaccination campaign in the fall of 2009. The study design consisted of three stages: Stage 1 involved passive observation of the site's layout, processes and client flow; Stage 2 entailed timing site staff on 20 clients through five core immunization tasks: i) client registration, ii) medical history collection, iii) medical history review, iv) vaccine administration record keeping and v) preparation of proof of vaccine administration for the client; in Stage 3, site staff completed a questionnaire regarding perceived usability of the site's data collection approach. Before the national study began, a pilot study was conducted in three seasonal influenza vaccination sites in Ontario, to both test that the proposed methodology was logistically feasible and to determine inter-rater reliability in the measurements of the research staff. Comparative analyses will be conducted across the range of data collection methods with respect to time required to collect immunization data, number and type of individual-level data elements collected, and clinic staff perceptions of the usability of the method employed at their site, using analysis of variance (ANOVA).
Various data collection methods were employed at immunization sites across Canada during the pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza vaccination campaign. Our comparison of methods can facilitate planning an efficient, coordinated approach for collecting immunization data in future influenza seasons.
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Immunization information systems (IISs) are electronic registries used to monitor individual vaccination status and assess vaccine coverage. IISs are currently not widely used across Canada, where health jurisdictions employ a range of approaches to capture influenza immunization information. Conducted in advance of the 2009 H1N1 vaccination campaign, the objectives of this study were to understand the perceived value of individual-level data and IISs for influenza control, identify ideal system functions, and explore barriers to implementation.
In July and August 2009, semi-structured interviews were conducted with key informants engaged in vaccine delivery and/or pandemic planning at regional, provincial/territorial and federal levels across Canada. Key informants were recruited using a combination of convenience and snowball sampling methodologies. Qualitative analysis was used to extract themes from interview content.
Patient management, assessment of vaccine coverage, and evaluation of safety and effectiveness were identified as public health priorities that would be achieved in a more timely manner, and with greater accuracy, through the use of an IIS. Features described as ideal included system flexibility, rapid data entry, and universality. Financial and human resource constraints as well as coordination between immunization providers were expressed as barriers to implementation.
IISs were perceived as valuable by key informants for strengthening management capacity and improving evaluation of both seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccination campaigns. However, certain implementation restrictions may need to be overcome for these benefits to be achieved.
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During the pandemic (H1N1) 2009 vaccination campaign, vaccine providers collected immunization data using hybrid (paper-based and electronic methods) and electronic data systems. We measured staff time in seconds spent on data collection tasks to compare system efficiencies. The sample consisted of 38 organizations across nine Canadian provinces/territories. The total mean data collection times per client were 104 s (electronic system), 143 s (hybrid system with electronic registration) and 172 s (hybrid system with paper registration). Electronic registration and record keeping were faster than paper-based methods; these findings should be used to improve data collection for future influenza seasons.