SurveyMonkey used for campus vaccine registration

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Conducting mass H1N1 vaccination at Michigan State University (MSU)-one of the Big 10 universities-required thoughtful planning. A population of approximately 47,000 students, an unpredictable supply of vaccine, and national guidelines that changed frequently all contributed to a complex vaccine distribution strategy.

MSU originally intended to use its online course management system to coordinate student vaccine registration, because it was accessible and familiar to all students. Planners at MSU's Olin Health Center opted instead to use SurveyMonkey to register students for H1N1 vaccination appointments. SurveyMonkey is a secure, online tool that allows users to create and customize their own surveys. Health planners chose to use SurveyMonkey rather than ANGEL because "because it was flexible enough to handle the daily changes of the guidelines for eligibility," said Darlinda Smith-Van Buren, Nursing Administrator at MSU's Olin Health Center.

The online survey made it possible for Registered Nurses (RNs) at Olin Health Center to screen students before scheduling vaccinations. It provided a method for portioning out a small supply of vaccine, while enabling clinic staff to know exactly how many people to expect at an immunization clinic. The survey was the exclusive portal to vaccination appointments, and students who called the health center for appointments were directed instead to the online survey. Memos, social media marketing, and press releases to local and MSU newspapers directed students to MSU's H1N1 Web page for current information about vaccine eligibility, clinic locations, and self-care. MSU's student health communications manager coordinated the dissemination of these messages to local and MSU newspapers.

During fall 2009, vaccine began arriving in small quantities on MSU's campus. MSU's home page featured a link to the SurveyMonkey vaccination request form, H1N1 vaccine eligibility requirements, and general vaccine information. Once students completed and submitted an online survey to request vaccine, the forms were reviewed by an RN to determine whether or not students met eligibility requirements. Eligible students were contacted within two days of filling out the survey to schedule a vaccination appointment. Because on-campus demand for vaccine was not high, H1N1 immunization clinics were scheduled and staffed based on the number of surveys submitted and the amount of available vaccine.

MSU coordinated student vaccinations through a simple, yet dynamic, online process. Through the use of an online survey to triage students before they made appointments, MSU was able to effectively communicate changing eligibility requirements, manage demand for vaccine, and anticipate clinic resource and scheduling needs.

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