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2019 HSR&D/QUERI National Conference Abstract

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1098 — Techniques to increase healthcare professionals' response rates of a non-incentivized VA survey

Lead/Presenter: Felicia Kleinberg,  COIN - Bedford/Boston
All Authors: Kleinberg F (Bedford VAMC, Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research (CHOIR)), Miller DR (Bedford VAMC, CHOIR), Reisman JI (Bedford VAMC, CHOIR) Gillespie C (Bedford VAMC, CHOIR) Tran M (Department of Veteran Affairs, Pharmacy Benefits Management Services) Ourth H (Department of Veteran Affairs, Pharmacy Benefits Management Services) Morreale AP (Department of Veteran Affairs, Pharmacy Benefits Management Services) McCullough MB (Bedford VAMC, CHOIR & Boston University School of Public Health)

Objectives:
To describe recruitment techniques that resulted in a high response rate of a web-based provider survey utilized to evaluate the implementation of clinical pharmacy specialists (CPS) to improve access to care.

Methods:
An essential element in the evaluation of the Clinical pharmacy specialist (CPS) Rural Veteran Access (CRVA) initiative involves a web-based, self-administered survey. The survey was designed to assess the implementation of pharmacist-provided patient care and integration of the CPS role into clinical teams. The survey was sent nationally to 2329 potential participants (185 CPSs with at least six months of experience in the CRVA imitative and 2,144 members of their clinical teams), including physicians, nurses, psychologists, and social workers. Survey participation was voluntary and the evaluation was deemed a quality improvement project by the local VA IRB.

Results:
We achieved a high response rate: Overall 72.5% (98.9% (183) of the CPS and 70.2% (1505) health care professionals) responded to the survey invitation. Recruitment and follow-up practices identified as facilitating this high response rate included:1) close relationship and targeted support of operational partner, 2) work with CPS site champions (an individual at a site who assisted with implementing the CPS role and to serve as a contact), 3) introductory invitation letter, 4) e-mail with a survey link and e-mail reminders, and 5) use of instant messaging.

Implications:
There has generally been a decline in response rates for healthcare providers between 1958 and 2012 and response rates have been reportedly low. The techniques described in this study encouraged a high response rate in CPS and other healthcare professionals. E-mail reminders and instant messages proved to be most effective in increasing response rates.

Impacts:
Web based data collecting platforms, such as electronic surveys, are becoming more popular and essential for gathering survey data. We developed a protocol consisting of multiple methods which proved to be effective in increasing response rates among VA providers. Higher response rates can lower non-response bias and make the survey results more generalizable and representative of the sample population.