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Improving Pediatric Immunization Rates in a Safety-Net Delivery System

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Abstract:

Background: Denver Community Health Services (DCHS)' goal was to increase childhood immunization rates in the high-risk pediatric patient population served through its safety-net delivery system. The specific goal of the initiative was to ensure that children younger than 3 years of age with at least one primary care visit received all recommended vaccines by 24 months of age.

Methods: An immunization registry was developed to accurately track patients, regular assessment of immunization levels were conducted with provision of clinic-specific feedback, and team-based quality improvement meetings were held. The computerized immunization registry assisted in implementing all the remaining improvement activities. For example, improvement of on-time delivery of vaccines in primary care clinics was accomplished through a rules engine in the vaccine registry, standing orders for vaccine delivery, and implementation of vaccine delivery protocols that eliminated missed opportunities.

Results: From 1995 to 2006, Denver Community Health documented a 47% increase in immunization rates for 2-year-old patients and a 26% increase for 1-year-oldpatients. Two-year-old immunization rates exceeded 85% by the end of this time period.

Discussion: The initiative improved pediatric immunization rates with demonstrated sustainability during a 10-year period. Success is attributed to staff commitment to process improvement activities and use of a patient registry for pediatric immunization delivery.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-04-01

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  • The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety will be published by Elsevier beginning in 2017! For readers who receive access to the journal through their institutions, the journal can now be found on ScienceDirect (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/15537250). For librarians looking to subscribe to the journal for their institutions please contact your Elsevier Account Manager or visit www.myelsevier.com for more information. All other readers, please visit http://www.jointcommissionjournal.com/ to subscribe to the journal or to claim your access for an existing subscription.
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