Upshot Online – Page 2
ImmTrac Outreach Specialists Extend ImmTrac Infrastructure and Customer Service Across Texas
IPOS continued from
The list includes information such as the client’s date of birth, city, county, zip code, and most recent provider’s information. Using this list, the IPOS identify children who may be due or overdue for an immunization, educate the child’s family about the importance of childhood vaccinations, and then update the child’s ImmTrac immunization record. Only children who have written parental consent to participate in ImmTrac are included in these outreach lists.
The Many Duties of the ImmTrac/PICS Outreach Specialist
The local IPOS conduct many ImmTrac-related activities in their areas, including contacting families of children with incomplete immunization histories in ImmTrac, educating parents about ImmTrac and the importance of up-to-date immunizations, promoting the use of ImmTrac by health care providers, and offering training to Registry users and hospital birth registrars.
Using the outreach lists and any information in ImmTrac, the IPOS attempts to update the client’s ImmTrac record by contacting the child’s parent or most recent health care provider. These contacts give the IPOS numerous opportunities to promote the benefits of ImmTrac participation to parents, providers, and other local audiences.
IPOS encourage parents to take the child in for any vaccines that may be due or overdue. Once the IPOS receives the immunization records from the parents and/or providers, the IPOS will verify and add any missing information to the client’s ImmTrac record to make it complete and up-to-date. The IPOS will then follow-up with the provider to ensure that future immunizations are reported. As a result of the IPOS’ work, many providers have access to complete and up-to-date immunization records for their patients. Providers recognize the benefits of having access to complete and up-to-date immunization records for their patients. Providers also recognize the benefits of having current and complete immunization records immediately accessible to them electronically.
The IPOS also carry the responsibility to provide education and technical assistance to birth registrars, hospitals, and birthing centers on the ImmTrac newborn consent process. The IPOS visit hospitals or birthing centers in their areas to encourage implementation of the ImmTrac newborn consent process, providing technical assistance if needed. The IPOS also educate birth registrars on the importance of their role in enrolling newborn babies into ImmTrac. Birth registrars then use this knowledge to educate new parents regarding the registry and the newborn consent process.
During the summer months of 2008, the IPOS will be conducting another major activity: distribution of ImmTrac literature holders and parent educational brochures to obstetricians, gynecologists, hospitals, and birthing facilities. These health care providers will be asked to offer ImmTrac brochures to expectant mothers during prenatal care visits, and hospitals are asked to disseminate ImmTrac brochures in patient areas and prenatal activities such as Lamaze classes. The purpose of offering these brochures to women and couples, who are expectant parents or planning a family, is so these expectant parents may make an informed decision when they are presented with the opportunity to grant consent for ImmTrac participation during the ImmTrac newborn consent process. (For more information on this initiative, read article on page
There are currently 86 IPOS working in LHDs throughout the state. There are also eight ImmTrac Coordinators (ICs) currently being filled that will work in each of the DSHS Health Service Regions (HSRs). These ICs coordinate the work of the IPOS in their region as well as provide them with technical support and training. The ICs also conduct all of the IPOS-related duties in counties that are not covered by a local health department.
Through the efforts of the IPOS, ImmTrac has been able to extend and strengthen its infrastructure and customer service to registry users across the state. The work of the IPOS not only improves the completeness and accuracy of ImmTrac records for all users, but also helps improve Texas vaccine coverage levels and reduces the incidence of childhood vaccine-preventable diseases.
Survey reveals increase in vaccine, 4th DTaP awareness at 15-18 months
Survey continued from
The survey was a random-digit-dial pre- and post-wave survey of more than 2800 households, with approximately 350 completed questionnaires per market in each wave. The pre-wave survey was conducted October 5-October 29, 2007. The post-wave survey was conducted December 14-December 31, 2007. Respondents were women, 18-37 years of age, with a child 3 years or younger. The average age of the respondents was 30. The survey report was completed in March 2008.
Campaign focus, effects
Overall, mothers expressed belief that “building immunity” means “making children’s immune systems stronger.”
Regarding the recommended immunization schedule, 59% in both waves considered themselves to be “very familiar” with the immunization schedule. In both waves, most mothers (93% overall) reported that it is very or somewhat important to have their children vaccinated at the recommended intervals specified. When asked why it is important to follow the recommended immunization schedule exactly, most mothers said it is to “keep their children healthy/prevent disease/illness” in both waves.
When asked to name the correct intervals for vaccines on the schedule, more Dallas/Ft. Worth and San Antonio mothers were able to name the correct intervals, most substantially for the 15-18 month interval (Dallas/Ft. Worth 32% to 43%; San Antonio, 29% to 43%). El Paso mothers contributed to the overall increase in awareness of this interval (29% to 40%). (See chart below.)
More respondents in the post-wave correctly recalled that the 4th DTaP is administered at the 15-18 month interval, significantly more than in the pre-wave (7% pre-wave; 12% post-wave). Significantly more respondents in all markets except Houston correctly answered that the 4th DTaP is administered at the 15-18 month interval in the post-wave than in the pre-wave. (Houston: 8% -11%; El Paso: 6%-12%; Dallas/Ft. Worth: 7%-12%; San Antonio: 6%-11%). The number of respondents who were uncertain significantly declined in San Antonio (59% to 51%).
Audience awareness of multiple vaccines, vaccine safety
When mothers were asked why children need more than one vaccine, the percentage of correct responses (“multiple shots are needed”) increased from 23% to 38%. In the post-wave results, those respondents answering “don’t know” decreased from 11% to 4%.
Overall, data also indicated the market became more educated about vaccines in terms of timing and safety.
View and listen to the Immunization Branch ads online.
For more information about the survey or media campaign, contact Alma Lydia Thompson at 1-800-252-9152 or at Alma.Thompson@dshs.state.tx.us.
2008 UpShot Online Quarter 3 Home