One strength of the PRAMS surveillance system is the standardized data collection methodology. This standardized approach allows for comparisons among states and for optimal use of the data for single-state or multi-state analysis. Each state follows the protocol, but also has the opportunity to customize some portions of it to tailor the procedures to the needs of the state.
PRAMS combines two modes of data collection: a survey conducted by mailed questionnaire with multiple follow-up attempts, and a survey by telephone. Here is the sequence of contacts for PRAMS surveillance as performed in Iowa: