How Digital Survey Tools Can Improve Controlling Infectious Diseases

How Digital Survey Tools Can Improve Controlling Infectious Diseases

Rapid identification and isolation of patients with contagious diseases is important in healthcare settings today. The digital tools are a practical option because of their user-friendly and remote monitoring abilities.

Fremont, CA: The capacity to develop, evaluate, manufacture, as well as administer useful medical countermeasures is inadequate to fight the recurrent and emerging outbreaks of infectious diseases. When such interventions are not available, public health measures as well as supportive clinical care remain the only tools to slow an emerging outbreak. The utilization of innovative technologies can enable the improvement of decision-making under this kind of situation.

Rapid identification and isolation of patients with contagious diseases is important in healthcare settings today. The digital tools are a practical option because of their user-friendly and remote monitoring abilities. A screening tool utilizing a free and publicly available digital survey application to find patients at risk is very helpful. The tool can be administered by healthcare professionals to patients near healthcare facility entrances, and it asks questions about symptoms, exposure history, vaccination history, and residence in high-risk locations. Any risk can be instantly informed to the clinical staff to perform a further risk assessment or enabling the patient to proceed to their visit.

Compared to flowcharts and legacy paper tools traditionally utilized for patient screening, the digital tool is proved to be simpler for staff to use because of the automated question algorithm feature utilized in the digital survey application. Eventhough some electronic medical records have decision support tools for screening patients, these electronic medical record tools can be very costly and sometimes only accessible by clinical staff located away from the healthcare facility. The user-friendly nature of digital survey applications enables any healthcare personnel to screen patients as well as rapidly isolate them before they enter the facility.

There are a few obstacles in the implementation of the digital survey intervention. But they can be overcome by working together with management to reinforce with front-line staff the advantages of patient screening. Apart from this, the remote monitoring capabilities of the digital tool enabled intervention with staff when time gaps were noted between survey submissions. In short, digital survey applications are effective alternatives to infectious disease screening because of their ease of use by nonclinical staff and their remote compliance monitoring abilities.

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