A quantitative review of healthcare professionals' questions to a local immunization advice service: 4299 enquiries from 3 years

Karen J. Ford*, Sarah Lang, Andrew J. Pollard, Noel D. McCarthy

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Background Immunization advice services can support health professionals by providing rapid access to accurate and reliable current information and advice. The Vaccine Advice for Clinicians Service (VACCSline) is a service for health professionals working within the Thames Valley Area of the UK. Methods We reviewed all 4299 enquiries received by VACCSline over 3 years. Queries were summarized by vaccine type and topic of enquiry. Associations with profession and workplace of the enquirer were tested using Fisher's exact tests. Results Incomplete immunization status and non-UK schedules were the most common topics of enquiry. Practice nurses were the main service users followed by doctors. Enquiries varied by professional role. Alterations to the immunization programme led to temporary changes to enquiry content and some more persistent adjustments in the balance of enquiries were identified, such as an increase in enquiries relating to vaccination in pregnancy. Conclusions The content of enquiries to VACCSline is broad, confirming the need for immunizers to have a wide knowledge base and access to specialist advice to assist with complex scenarios. Systematic data capture provided intelligence to guide training and materials to support immunizers. A wider networked application of this approach could improve support for immunizers.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)578-584
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Public Health
    Volume38
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2015 The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Faculty of Public Health. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

    Copyright:
    Copyright 2016 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

    Keywords

    • immunization
    • public health

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