Denver Health has figured out a way to use a smartphone for something other than tweeting, Facebooking or playing Words with Friends.
Outliers: Mass immunizations? Denver Health gets HANDI
The Colorado public health organization has created an app that assists public-health workers with mass immunization events, and is working on expanding the software’s use to other areas, such as in public health outreach when workers collect patient information in a community. The app is called Hand-held Automated Notification for Drugs and Immunizations, which conveniently means HANDI.
In a vaccination scenario, HANDI is used by scanning patient data into an iPhone or other such device and then combining it with other information taken verbally and entered by a healthcare worker.
Though the app didn’t speed the immunization process when tested by Denver Health, it did save a lot of time and effort on the back end where a lot of cumbersome data entry historically takes place, says Melissa McClung, an epidemiologist for Denver Health who wrote about HANDI in a blog posting on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. In addition, “data were available for transfer to state immunization registries in near real-time instead of months afterward,” she wrote.
Don’t look for it at an app store—its security and technical requirements won’t allow it—but Denver Health is eager to share its experiences with others and is working on transforming HANDI into a universal tool.
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