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Evaluating pilot implementation of ‘PenCS Flu Topbar’ app in medical practices to improve National Immunisation Program funded season influenza vaccination in Central Queensland, Australia
  • +6
  • Gulam Khandaker,
  • Gwenda Chapman,
  • Md Arifuzzaman Khan,
  • MahmudulHassan Al Imam,
  • Robert Menzies,
  • Nicolas Smoll,
  • Jacina Walker,
  • Michael Kirk,
  • Kerrie Wiley
Gulam Khandaker
The Children’s Hospital at Westmead

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Gwenda Chapman
Metro North Hospital and Health Service
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Md Arifuzzaman Khan
University of Central Queensland
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MahmudulHassan Al Imam
Central Queensland University
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Robert Menzies
Sanofi Pasteur Australia
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Nicolas Smoll
Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service
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Jacina Walker
Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service
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Michael Kirk
Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service
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Kerrie Wiley
The University of Sydney
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Background: The ‘PenCS Flu Topbar’ app was deployed in Central Queensland (CQ), Australia medical practices through a pilot program in March 2021. Methods: We evaluated the app’s user experience and examined whether the introduction of ‘PenCS Flu Topbar’ in medical practices could improve the coverage of NIP funded influenza vaccinations. We conducted a mixed-method study including a qualitative analysis of in-depth interviews with key end-users, and a quantitative analysis of influenza vaccine administrative data. Results: ‘PenCS Flu Topbar’ app users reported positive experiences identifying patients eligible for NIP-funded season influenza vaccination. A total of 3,606 NIP funded influenza vaccinations were administered in the eight intervention practices, 14% higher than the eight control practices. NIP-funded vaccination coverage within practices was significantly higher in intervention practices (31.2%) than the control practices (27.3%) (absolute difference: 3.9%; 95%CI: 2.9%-5.0%; P<0.0001). The coverage was substantially higher in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged more than 6 months, pregnant women and children aged 6 months to less than 5 years for the practices where the app was introduced when compared to control practices; Incidence Rate Ration (IRR) 2.4 (95%CI: 1.8-3.2), IRR 2.7 (95%CI: 1.8-4.2) and IRR 2.3 (1.8-2.9) times higher, respectively. Conclusions: Our evaluation indicated that the ‘PenCS Flu Topbar’ app is uuseful for identifying the patients eligible for NIP-funded influenza vaccination and is likely to increase NIP-funded influenza vaccine coverage in the eligible populations. Future impact evaluation including a greater number of practices and a wider geographical area is essential.
28 Jul 2023Submitted to Influenza and other respiratory viruses
31 Jul 2023Assigned to Editor
31 Jul 2023Submission Checks Completed
13 Aug 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
20 Nov 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
20 Nov 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Minor