Data Acquisition Issues in a Survey of Healthcare Professionals in Hospitals and Local Health Departments Invited to Participate in the U.S. Smallpox Immunization
Levy, P. S., Burke, B., & Evans, B. (2005, August). Data Acquisition Issues in a Survey of Healthcare Professionals in Hospitals and Local Health Departments Invited to Participate in the U.S. Smallpox Immunization. Presented at Joint Statistical Meetings, Minneapolis, MN.
The smallpox response program initiated in 2002 and administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through 56 state and county health departments that would work with hospitals and local health departments included formation of civilian response teams to provide critical services in the event of a smallpox attack in the U.S. Its major objective was to identify and vaccinate health care workers who would comprise the Smallpox Teams and serve as first responders in the event of a smallpox outbreak. A concomitant evaluation program investigated reasons why some individuals chose not to become vaccinated, and information on how the program processes were implemented.
We report on the design of the program evaluation, on obstacles faced in data acquisition, and on measures taken to overcome these obstacles. Many of the challenges were due to IRB, HIPAA, and accessibility issues caused by a study design which required our having to go through the State government, local hospital, and local health department bureaucracies where the designated first responders worked in order to gain access to them.