Effectiveness of a web-based education program to improve vaccine storage conditions in primary care (Keep Cool): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial
BACKGROUND: Immunization programs are among the most effective public health strategies worldwide. Adequate vaccine storage is a prerequisite to assure the vaccines' effectiveness and safety. In a questionnaire survey among a random sample of German primary care physicians, we discovered vaccine storage deficits: 16% of physicians had experience with cold chain breaches either as an error or near error, 49 % did not keep a temperature log, and 21 % did not use a separate refrigerator for vaccine storage. In a recent feasibility study of 21 practice refrigerators, we showed that these were outside the target range 10.2% of the total time with some single refrigerators being outside the target range as much as 66.3% of the time. These cooling-chain deficits are consistent with the international medical literature, yet an effective, easy to disseminate, practice-centered intervention to improve storage conditions is lacking. METHODS/DESIGN: This randomized intervention trial will be conducted in a random sample of primary care practices. Based on continuous temperature recordings over 7 days, all practices with readings outside the target range for vaccine storage (+2 °C to +8 °C) will be randomly allocated to a web-based education program or a waiting list control group. The practice physicians and their teams constitute the target population. Participants will be educated about best practices in vaccine storage and will receive a manual including storage checklists and templates for temperature documentation. In all practices, temperatures of the vaccine refrigerators will be monitored continuously using a data logger with a glycol probe as a surrogate for vaccine vial temperature. The effectiveness of the web-based education program will be determined after 6 months in terms of the proportion of refrigerators with vaccine vial temperatures within the target range (+2 °C to +8 °C) during 7-day temperature logging. Secondary outcome parameters include temperature monitoring, no critically low temperatures (≤ -0.5 °C), compliance with storage recommendations, knowledge of good vaccine storage conditions, and assignment of personnel as vaccine storage manager and backup. DISCUSSION: Keep Cool will develop and evaluate a web-based education program to improve vaccine storage conditions in primary care and thereby ensure immunization safety and effectiveness.
|Added by||David Hyung Won Oh|
|Added on||13 October 2015 07:45:33|
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