Patient Portal Flu Vaccine Reminders_RCT 5 (LADHS)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) logo

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Status

Completed

Conditions

Influenza
Respiratory Tract Infections

Treatments

Behavioral: Enhanced Bidirectional Texts
Behavioral: Enhanced texts with Callback by a Person

Study type

Interventional

Funder types

Other
NIH

Identifiers

NCT05535777
R01AI135029
17-001889-00016 (LADHS)

Details and patient eligibility

About

This trial is taking place in Los Angeles, CA at clinics within the Los Angeles Department of Health clinics. The study design is a comparative effectiveness trial design. Patients will be randomized into 1) receiving enhanced texting with a callback by a trained call-center staff member to schedule a vaccine visit if the patient presses "1" in response to the text, 2) receiving enhanced bidirectional texting with a texting response from a trained call-center staff member who will help the patient schedule a vaccine visit through a series of back-and-forth texts, or 3) standard text reminders (control group). Patients in all arms will receive reminders if they are due for influenza vaccine. Despite the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendation in 2010 that all people above 6 months of age should receive an annual flu vaccine, vaccination rates remain low: at 6m-4.9 yrs. (70%), 5-17.9 yrs. (56%), 18-64.9 yrs. (38%), and >65 yrs. (63%). The investigators will assess the effectiveness of enhanced text R/R messages as compared to the standard of care control (standard text reminders).

Full description

Sub-optimal vaccination rates are a significant problem in the U.S., despite their effectiveness in preventing morbidity and mortality from vaccine-preventable illness. For influenza specifically, annual epidemics of influenza cause substantial morbidity in the U.S. with up to 40,00-80,000 deaths/year and many hospitalizations, emergency and outpatient visits, and significant costs. Reminder/recall (R/R), sent by phone, mail or other modality, can improve child and adult influenza vaccination rates. However, the majority of pediatric or adult primary care practices do not conduct R/R. Barriers are lack of finances, personnel, and algorithms to identify eligible patients. A technological breakthrough that might overcome these barriers involves patient text messaging at the health system level. This randomized controlled trial will assess the effectiveness of reminders messages sent by text encouraging influenza vaccination, on increasing influenza vaccination rates within a health system. Patients will be randomized into three groups: 1) one-third of patients will receive enhanced text reminder messages, 2) one-third will receive enhanced bidirectional text reminder messages and 3) one-third will received standard-of-care text reminder messages. Enhanced texts - Callback by a person: Patient randomized to this study arm will receive a phone call back by a call center agent if they press "1" in response to a question on the original text message. The call center agent's job is to schedule patients for clinical visits. These call center agents will be trained by our faculty and staff and will have the usual HIPAA and other patient confidentiality training. Enhanced Bidirectional Texts: These texts are designed to help schedule a vaccine visit. Patients randomized to this study arm will receive a text message from a call center agent if they press "1" in response to a question on the original text message. The bidirectional texts will have an agent who can answer questions and schedule an appointment through text message back-and-forth conversations with the patient. Bidirectional texts will be exchanged on a HIPAA compliant bidirectional text messaging platform. The patient will use the regular SMS function on their cellphone and the agent will receive and respond to the bidirectional text on the HIPAA compliant platform. Previous studies have shown that low-cost, behavioral nudges through texting can increase influenza vaccination uptake compared to usual care. However, there are limited studies that evaluate the effect of decreasing friction/barriers to scheduling especially within safety net populations. This study will examine the effect of strategies to reduce friction/barriers to scheduling including bidirectional text messages, and texts for patients to call for direct scheduling without wait time on influenza vaccination rates in adults within the 2022-2023 flu season. For the primary analysis, the primary outcome will be the patient's end of flu season vaccination status. Intervention effects will be assessed using multivariable log-binomial regression models. Regressions will include indicators for each intervention as fixed effects, with the standard text condition as the reference group, and potentially clinic random effects, depending on retrospective analysis results. Models will also adjust for patient age, gender, race/ethnicity, insurance, and whether the patient was vaccinated in at least one of the prior two flu seasons. The enhanced texts with callback, enhanced bidirectional texts, and standard-of-care text reminder messages will begin in September of 2022.

Enrollment

246,295 patients

Sex

All

Ages

6+ months old

Volunteers

No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

LADHS patients identified as primary care patients assigned as follows: (1) assigned through managed care plans, (2) self-pay but linked with a provider, or (3) uninsured but assigned.

Exclusion criteria

LADHS patient not identified as a primary care patient.

Trial design

Primary purpose

Health Services Research

Allocation

Randomized

Interventional model

Parallel Assignment

Masking

Single Blind

246,295 participants in 3 patient groups

Enhanced Text Reminders with Callback by Person
Active Comparator group
Description:
Participants in this arm will receive up to 3 R/R messages by text. R/R message will receive a phone call back by a call center agent if they press "1" in response to a question on the original text message. The call center agent's job is to schedule patients for clinical visits. These call center agents will be trained by our faculty and staff and will have the usual HIPAA and other patient confidentiality training.
Treatment:
Behavioral: Enhanced texts with Callback by a Person
Enhanced Bidirectional Text Reminders
Active Comparator group
Description:
Participants in this arm will receive a text message from a call center agent if they press "1" in response to a question on the original text message. The bidirectional texts will have an agent who can answer questions and schedule an appointment through text message back-and-forth conversations with the patient. Bidirectional texts will be exchanged on a HIPAA compliant bidirectional text messaging platform. The patient will use the regular SMS function on their cellphone and the agent will receive and respond to the bidirectional text on the HIPAA compliant platform.
Treatment:
Behavioral: Enhanced Bidirectional Texts
Standard Text Reminders
No Intervention group
Description:
Participants in this arm will receive up to 3 text messages, reminding them about the importance of influenza vaccination. The standard texts will include a clinic call back number and patient portal self-scheduling for patients to schedule their influenza vaccines. The direct scheduling texts includes a direct number to an agent that can help schedule and answer questions on the phone in real time. The texts with a direct number to schedule will link a specified phone number to call and schedule. This number would be answered by a central agent quickly and a patient could schedule their flu shot at any clinic site. This specific phone number would not go through the multiple option menus a patient would normally experience when calling their clinic.

Trial contacts and locations

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Central trial contact

Christina Albertin; Peter Szilagyi

Data sourced from clinicaltrials.gov

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