Public health initiatives to increase the vaccination access to the populace can often be daunting.

Taking into account the logistics of getting people together and making the public aware of the events and locations, there is also screening and registering participants. So can we use currently available mobile technology to help out?

Well, thats what the Denver Public Health (DPH) and Countermind aimed to find out.

Creating a mobile solution for the myriad amount of paper work and documentation for collecting patient information can be challenging.

However, Countermind managed to put together an app* that worked with DPH to help register and record data collected during vaccination outreach events. This app was called HANDI (Hand-held Automated Notification for Drugs and Immunizations). HANDI was then integrated into vaccination outreaches conducted with the DPH.

This was done in 3 steps:

  1. Registration – Patients driver license would be scanned and entered initially into the database. This was done with an attachment to the mobile device. Afterwards, using a mobile printer, a barcoded label would be made and given to the patient
  2. Patient Screening – Patients would then present their barcode and health care workers would then screen the patient with a series of health related questions to determine the safety for vaccinations (e.g. potential allergies, sickness)
  3. Final Documentation of Vaccination – Upon being vaccinated, the patients barcode would be scanned again. Then manufacturer and lot number could be recorded, along with dose and location of vaccination.

After this, all data recorded would then be uploaded in real-time to a central server to be part of a database of all patients that were vaccinated. Results of the integration of HANDI did not demonstrate a decrease in vaccination times; however, its benefit was the completed documentation of vaccinations that did not have to be performed after outreaches. HANDI went on to receive the NACCHO Model Practice Award for its innovation and potential benefit it may play in the future.

The implication of HANDI is that similar apps could potentially be developed and standardized as part of the vaccination initiative in the US. However, this could be expanded beyond such interventions to other public healthcare projects that could help with data collection and processing.

Sources: CDC Blog on HANDI , Countermind Award Post

*No link to the app as it is set up for the DPH system and not for overall integration to public use.