The San Diego Beacon eHealth Community is one example of how we are starting to see the convergence of health information exchange (HIE) and social media technologies. They recently shared the details of their pilot study, which is designed to use SMS technology to improve childhood immunization rates. Highlights include:
- Purpose: determine the impact and cost effectiveness of text messaging to improve child vaccination rates (all, on-time by age 19 months)
- Parents of childrent 9 - 13 months who speak either English or Spanish will be recruited.
- Participants receiving the intervention will receive monthly text message reminders to schedule or keep an existing appointment for their child's 15- and 18-month well-baby visits, as well as, educational messages.
- The control participants will only receive general milestone and health information during the study period.
- Some messages for both the intervention and control groups require a response (making the communications bi-directional.)
In addition, the involvement of a cell phone (mHealth) also makes this another great example of the convergence of telehealth and HIE.
Christina Thielst is a hospital and healthcare administrator who has been blogging since 2005. Topics covered on her blog, Christina's Considerations, include hospitals, health information technology and exchange, social media, and telehealth.