Project Details - Ended
- Contract Number:290-07-10009-4
- Funding Mechanism:
- AHRQ Funded Amount:$100,000
- Principal Investigator:
- Project Dates:8/15/2009 to 9/21/2010
- Care Setting:
- Type of Care:
- Health Care Theme:
Every year, seasonal influenza reminds us that the threat of pandemic influenza is real. Appropriate response to seasonal influenza and preparedness for pandemic influenza are thus inherently linked to each other. To achieve preparedness in primary care practices, patient surges related to influenza must be thoroughly studied so that models and technologies to improve surge capacity can be identified, tested, and disseminated. This project built on the past developments and findings from the Influenza Self-Management Web site which was designed by researchers at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. The project team revised, enhanced, and then piloted the Web site as a toolkit for influenza self-management. The toolkit, which can be delivered to practices as a downloadable package, is designed to guide patients through self-management and self-triage techniques during an influenza outbreak.
The main objectives of the project were to:
- Refine the Stay-at-Home Influenza Toolkit to mitigate the characterization of product endorsement by eliminating references to specific products.
- Redesign the Toolkit into a downloadable Web package.
- Ensure that the materials meet the standards for Section 508 compliance (e.g. materials are accessible to people with disabilities).
- Write a "How-To" manual to facilitate the effective incorporation of Stay-at-Home modules into primary care physicians' Web sites.
Toolkit revisions were completed, eliminating proprietary content, ensuring 508-compliance, increasing organizations' capability to customize the package, and adapting the code to allow periodic content updates over the Internet. The package now contains an implementation guide with step-by-step instructions on how Web administrators can customize the toolkit using an HTML file that edits the appropriate Web pages of the package locally and according to user preferences.
Customizable features include page title, organization name, contact information, an interactive map to show location of the practice, an "About Us" page, and a list of updatable links to various influenza resources. Administrators can upload the tailored package to their organization's Web servers and can connect the home page of the toolkit to their Web sites.
Four practices successfully implemented the Influenza Self-Management Toolkit in less than 2 months. Two of the practices completed the implementation within 3 weeks of receiving the initial e-mail and the other two practices took longer. Web administrators reported no problems in uploading the Toolkit to their organization's Web site. Recommendations gleaned from this project for similar future projects include:
- The Influenza Self-Management Toolkit and similar resources could be provided to primary care stakeholders as a centralized Web service to which practices' Web sites would link.
- Developers of installation and user manuals should consider users' varying level of IT expertise and preferences. Commonly-accessed methods should be used whenever possible to avoid the need for individual installation instructions.
- Alternate implementation approaches may be necessary for small, mid-sized, and large practices, depending on the IT resources and expertise that are available.