When the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic a year ago, the Virginia Department of Health found itself overwhelmed by calls from confused and panicked residents.
During that time, Suresh Soundararajan, CIO of the Virginia Department of Health, said personnel were struggling to get constantly-changing information to the public through the department site’s FAQ section.
So when the opportunity arose to partner with data company Jebbit on an interactive tool to answer COVID-19 questions, Soundararajan said the VA Department of Health jumped at the chance.
“The FAQs were great but people didn’t have the patience to actually read through the 25 pages of [information],” Soundararajan explained.
In April 2020, the VA Department of Health launched the COVID-19 & You campaign along with the corresponding interactive quiz powered by Jebbit. The campaign, led in-house by the Department of Health, used social media, radio appearances and other earned media to alert Virginia residents of the new platform they could use to find answers to their questions.
The interactive quiz, available on web and mobile, allows users to click through a list of topics and subtopics based on information consumers most frequently search for on the Virginia Department of Health COVID-19 website. Each click redirects the user to a new page with corresponding information to find the answers they’re looking for.
“[The quiz] started getting people information about the disease itself, symptoms, schools and travel,” Soundararajan said.
The Department of Health began to see a change in engagement, with an 83% quiz completion rate by February 2021, Soundararajan reported.
Using first-party data collected by Jebbit, the VA Department of Health has pivoted over time, opening new quizzes and channels as other COVID-19 related topics take precedence. Recently, the Department of Health has used the platform to give users information about vaccine eligibility.
Since creating the vaccine quiz at the start of the New Year, the Department of Health has reached 2.4 million people.
“Convenience sets the stage for others in the public sector to do something like this,” Soundararajan said. “There's potential for this tool.”