Increasing the use of pneumococcal vaccine - Tips from Other Journals

Date: June, 1992

Despite data that pneumococcal vaccine is effective in preventing infections in patients aged 65 and older, less than 20 percent of patients who are at risk are vaccinated. Clancy and colleagues evaluated the effectiveness of using computerized reminders to increase pneumococcal vaccination among hospitalized patients.

A reminder to immunize all patients eligible for pneumococcal vaccination was included in the hospital information system used to discharge patients. Before a discharge order could be entered, the discharging physician was required to respond to a question asking whether the patient should be immunized. If the answer was affirmative, the patient received the vaccine. Medical records completed for 474 patients discharged before the reminder system was begun were compared with records of 539 patients discharged after the system was in place.

Of the 474 patients discharged before the reminder system was in place, only 16 (3.4 percent) were vaccinated; 244 (45 percent) of the 539 patients discharged after the system was set up received the vaccine.

The authors conclude that predischarge reminders are an effective way to increase delivery of pneumococcal vaccine to eligible hospitalized patients. (Journal of General Internal Medicine, January/February 1992, vol. 7, p. 14.)

COPYRIGHT 1992 American Academy of Family PhysiciansCOPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group

 
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