Feasibility of an Electronic Survey on iPads with In-Person Data Collectors for Data Collection with Health Care Professionals and Health Care Consumers in General Emergency Departments

JMIR Res Protoc. 2016 Jun 29;5(2):e139. doi: 10.2196/resprot.5170.


Background: Translating Emergency Knowledge for Kids was established to bridge the research-practice gap in pediatric emergency care by bringing the best evidence to Canadian general emergency departments (EDs). The first step in this process was to conduct a national needs assessment to determine the information needs and preferences of health professionals and parents in this clinical setting.

Objective: To describe the development and implementation of two electronic surveys, and determine the feasibility of collecting electronic survey data on iPads with in-person data collectors in a busy clinical environment.

Methods: Two descriptive surveys were conducted in 32 general EDs. Specific factors were addressed in four survey development and implementation stages: survey design, survey delivery, survey completion, and survey return. Feasibility of the data collection approach was determined by evaluating participation rates, completion rates, average survey time to completion, and usability of the platform. Usability was assessed with the in-person data collectors on five key variables: interactivity, portability, innovativeness, security, and proficiency.

Results: Health professional participation rates (1561/2575, 60.62%) and completion rates (1471/1561, 94.23%) were strong. Parental participation rates (974/1099, 88.63%) and completion rates (897/974, 92.09%) were excellent. Mean time to survey completion was 28.08 minutes for health professionals and 43.23 minutes for parents. Data collectors rated the platform "positively" to "very positively" on all five usability variables.

Conclusions: A number of design and implementation considerations were explored and integrated into this mixed-mode survey data collection approach. Feasibility was demonstrated by the robust survey participation and completion rates, reasonable survey completion times, and very positive usability evaluation results.

Keywords: electronic survey; needs assessment; pediatric emergency medicine; survey development; survey implementation.