Pediatric care providers identify desired characteristics for computerized flu vaccination alerts
Research Activities, December 2011, No. 376
Influenza vaccination rates among children remain suboptimal, partially due to missed vaccination opportunities. One way to identify children in need of vaccination at the point of care is through the use of computerized vaccination alerts. However, such alerts have met with only modest success, possibly due to design problems or unrelated workflow issues. A team of Columbia University researchers conducted focus groups and interviews with 21 pediatric health care providers to identify desired characteristics and concerns regarding immunization alerts. The pediatric care providers suggested that an immunization alert should: appear early in the visit; facilitate ordering; be based on the electronic health record (EHR) as well as immunization registry; and allow the provider to document reasons the vaccine was not given by pasting back into the EHR note.
The providers also identified a number of barriers to vaccination delivery: remembering to vaccinate during sick or other walk-in visits; having the time needed to check multiple sources to find out if a child had already received the vaccination; limited staff to provide vaccine delivery; and limited supplies of the influenza vaccine. They noted that some of these barriers could be alleviated by well-designed vaccination alerts linked to electronic health records. The study was supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (HS18158).
See "FluAlert: A qualitative evaluation of providers' desired characteristics and concerns regarding computerized influenza vaccination alerts," by Eileen Birmingham, M.D., Marina Catallozzi, M.D., Sally E. Findley, Ph.D., and others in Preventive Medicine 52, pp. 274-277, 2011.