Safety centers (SCs) are hospital-affiliated outlets that provide families with safety products and personalized education about preventing injuries. Roughly 40 SCs are in operation across the United States, but no single model for staffing, supplying, or sustaining them has emerged. The project aimed to determine the feasibility of a centralized database for SC evaluation as the first step toward growing this proven intervention.
An Expert Advisory Committee was convened to determine data collection elements and procedures. Representatives from nine hospital-based SCs collected data about car seat and bike helmet sales and education provided between August 1, 2013, to December 31, 2013.
A total of 645 study-related safety products were distributed at cost (72%), below cost (10%), or for free (19%). Education was provided for 96% of all products distributed, including receipt of print materials (81%) and product demonstrations (83%). Visitors to SCs were usually referred by a hospital provider (34%), followed by word of mouth (24%) and walk-in (22%). Seven of nine SCs were able to contribute data. Stability of SCs and capacity of staff emerged as facilitators of centralized data collection feasibility.
We demonstrate that centralized data collection is feasible and that information to compare centers can be obtained. However, for more meaningful comparisons to emerge and to enable all SCs the ability to participate, support is needed institutionally for staff to be able to capture data and nationally to grow and sustain a database that represents the broader diversity of topics and services offered.