Background

The Avon Breast Health Outreach Program (BHOP) supports community-based organizations to conduct education and outreach to link low-income and uninsured women to routine breast cancer screening. These organizations capture health and demographic information for clients screened as a result of outreach using a standardized Client Intake Form (CIF). Prior research demonstrated higher rates of overall form completion for data collected via audio-computer assisted self-interview (ACASI) versus face-to-face or self-administered paper interview. Advances in tablet computer technology provide additional options and potential advantages for collecting client-level data electronically.

Objective

To determine if electronic CIF data collection via tablet is a practical alternative to paper-based data collection, and assess the relative administrative burden, advantages and disadvantages for Avon BHOP-funded organizations for each method.

Methods

English and Spanish copies of the CIF were created in iSurvey, an application developed for iPad. Currently funded grantees (n = 101) were invited to apply for the pilot; 34 of 38 applicants in 24 states were selected, with priority given to organizations with a majority of English- or Spanish-speaking clients, and greater annual client volume. Pilot sites received a tablet pre-loaded with iSurvey. Grantees received web-based training and individual technical assistance on tablet use, data collection and submission procedures. Avon BHOP staff conducted telephone follow-up to assess organizations’ feedback concerning acceptability to program staff and clients of CIF data collection using the tablet, and effects on data quality and administrative processes relative to paper CIFs. Quality assurance was conducted on all CIFs submitted via iSurvey to identify duplicate or invalid records.

Results

948 CIFs (838 English, 110 Spanish) were submitted using the tablets during a two month period from March 21 to May 21, 2013. Five organizations submitted fewer than 5 CIFs, eight did not submit any CIFs, and three organizations discontinued participation; their tablets were reassigned to different organizations. Grantees using the tablets for CIF data collection found the program easy to use and data entry efficient. Challenges reported included difficulties integrating the tablets into clinic flow, lack of familiarity with tablet technology among clients and staff, and an inability to review data for errors or completeness prior to electronic submission.

Conclusion

CIF data collection via tablet is an option for electronic data capture for some organizations. However, many organizations reported challenges in effectively integrating this new technology into existing clinic flow and administrative processes.

Discussion

While tablets are a relatively inexpensive and practical option for electronic client data collection in some settings, some organizations reported a preference for paper forms. Many of the identified administrative barriers may be resolved through the provision of technical assistance and capacity building support to grantee organizations. Future analysis may focus on the completeness of data collected via tablet versus paper.

Citation Information: Cancer Res 2013;73(24 Suppl): Abstract nr P6-08-15.