You are here: Home / Communications / Our Publications / Faculty Publications / Health-Care Provider Preferences for Time-Sensitive Communications from Public Health Agencies

Health-Care Provider Preferences for Time-Sensitive Communications from Public Health Agencies

D Revere, I Painter, M Oberle, and JG Baseman (2014)
Public Health Reports, 129(Suppl 4):67-76.

OBJECTIVE:

The Rapid Emergency Alert Communication in Health (REACH) Trial was a randomized control trial to systematically compare and evaluate the effectiveness of traditional and mobile communication modalities for public health agencies to disseminate time-sensitive information to health-care providers (HCPs). We conducted a sub-study to identify the communication channels by which HCPs preferred receiving public health alerts and advisories.

METHODS:

Enrolled HCPs were blindly randomized into four message delivery groups to receive time-sensitive public health messages by e-mail, fax, or short message service (SMS) or to a no-message control group. Follow-up interviews were conducted 5-10 days after the message. In the final interview, additional questions were asked regarding HCP preferences for receiving public health alerts and advisories. We examined the relationship between key covariates and preferred method of receiving public health alert and advisory messages.

RESULTS:

Gender, age, provider type, and study site showed statistically significant associations with delivery method preference. Older providers were more likely than younger providers to prefer e-mail or fax, while younger providers were more likely than older providers to prefer receiving messages via SMS.

CONCLUSIONS:

There is currently no evidence-based research to guide or improve communication between public health agencies and HCPs. Understanding the preferences of providers for receiving alerts and advisories may improve the effectiveness of vital public health communications systems and, in turn, may enhance disease surveillance, aid in early detection, and improve case finding and situational awareness for public health emergencies.