Immunisation provider experiences with an automated short message service-based active surveillance system for monitoring adverse events following immunisation: A qualitative descriptive study

Gurkamal Singh, Rachel Nesaraj, Nicolas Bchara, Benjamin Kop, Alan Leeb, Lisa Nissen, Ian Peters, Danae Perry, Sandra Salter, Kenneth Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective
Currently, active surveillance systems to monitor adverse events following immunisation are limited to hospitals, and medical and immunisation clinics. Globally, community pharmacies represent a significant destination for immunisation services. However, until recently, pharmacies lacked active surveillance systems. We therefore wished to explore pharmacists’ experiences with SmartVax: an active surveillance system that has recently been integrated for use in Australian community pharmacies. Specifically, we wished to explore pharmacists’ perceived (1) benefits of using SmartVax, (2) areas for improvement in the system, and (3) issues with future/ongoing access to the system.

Methods
The present study forms the qualitative arm of a convergent mixed-methods pilot study. In the present study, we performed semi-structured interviews with pharmacist immunisers after a 21- to 22-week trial period with SmartVax. Thematic analysis of interview transcripts was performed independently by two researchers in QSR NVivo 12, using the framework method.

Results
Fifteen participants completed the semi-structured interviews. A broad range of perceived benefits were cited by participants, including the usability of SmartVax, the ease of patient follow-up facilitated by the system, and enhancement to the patient–pharmacist relationship. Participants voiced a desire for the system to have more granularity and a faster response time in the report generated for pharmacies. When asked about issues with future/ongoing access to SmartVax, cost concerns of the system were the prevailing theme.

Conclusions
The present study suggests that, among pharmacist immuniser end-users of SmartVax, the system is perceived to be easy-to-use, facilitates patient follow-up, and enhances the patient–pharmacist relationship.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalDigital Health
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sep 2021

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