Presentation Blocks: 03-24-2018 - Saturday - 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

Title: Practitioner Survey Coordination and Logistics in the National Dental PBRN


Rachel Cohen (Presenter)

Vibha Vij, Westat
Kavya Vellala, Westat
Lisa Waiwaiole, Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research
Gregg Gilbert, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Rahma Mungia, University of Texas Health San Antonio
Tracy Shea, HealthPartners
Brenda Thacker, University of Florida
Vi Luong, University of Rochester


Objectives: Describe logistics for three practitioner surveys conducted in the National Dental Practice-based Research Network (

Methods: The Network implemented similar logistics for three survey questionnaire studies. Study designs and requirements varied, but each required: sample selection; a survey website; staggered deployment (“waves”); customized practitioner reminders and follow-up; tracking; reports; and payments.

Results: Logistics involved study-specific programming in the Network’s practitioner database. Eligible practitioners were identified per study inclusion/exclusion criteria. A subset of practitioners was randomly selected and assigned to a wave. An implementation timeline with an ‘at-a-glance’ graphic and detailed references showed all stakeholders key study activities at each time-point, across waves. Surveys were completed primarily online via a secure website (two studies allowed paper completion). Invitation emails had a practitioner-specific hyperlink (no identifiers, for confidentiality). This eliminated credential verification, streamlining completion. Prior to sending invitations, contact information review/update focused on selected practitioners to minimize bounce-backs. During implementation, staff tracked bounce-backs to try to correct information before the next communication. Practitioner reminders were customized for time-points and statuses (i.e., first vs. second reminder, partial completion). Programming linked institutional and practitioner requirements to appropriately route practitioner payments. A study dashboard linked to the survey website gave staff real-time practitioner status (e.g., completed, partial complete, nonresponse, declined) at network and regional levels and drill-down options for practitioner-specific details. Complex reports informed stakeholders of study status and survey completion statistics. Regions used diverse non-respondent follow-up strategies. A Help Desk triaged questions to improve study coordination efficiency. In total, 4,469 practitioners participated across the 3 studies, with an overall response rate of 75%.

Conclusions: The Network successfully implemented diverse, multimodal survey coordination approaches to ensure efficient processes and a streamlined practitioner participation experience. Support: U19-DE-22516.