Monday, December 30, 2013

Text Messages Increase Influenza Vaccine Uptake

Here is an article on the use of text messaging to increase influenza vaccine uptake in a low-income, NYC patient population


The methodology employed was a randomized controlled trial that enrolled 1187 obstetric patients from 5 community-based clinics in New York City. The intervention group received 5 weekly text messages regarding influenza vaccination starting mid-September 2011 and 2 text message appointment reminders. Both groups received standard automated telephone appointment reminders. 

After adjusting for gestational age and number of clinic visits, women who received the intervention were 30% more likely to be vaccinated.

The use of text message reminders may be feasible within a healthcare setting, particularly regarding employee health and safety initiatives. 

Where I work, we have an annual physician and staff 'blitz' for influenza vaccination, PFR N95 mask fit testing and tuberculin skin testing. Daily or weekly text message/pager reminders might give us small boost in compliance. For the healthcare workers refusing the influenza vaccine, text message alerts about completion of mandatory declination forms may also be of value. 

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