Date of Defense:
October 23, 2012
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults are 100 times more likely to die from vaccine-preventable diseases compared to children in the United States. Immunizing adults is a proven method of protecting the health of pregnant women, infants, children, and their families. Despite the myriad of known benefits of vaccinations, rates of administering immunizations among adult populations are low based on recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
In January 2011, the Minnesota Department of Health’s Immunization Program implemented the Uninsured and Underinsured Adult Vaccine program (UUAV) to increase access to affordable preventative health care services, particularly immunizations, for men and women 19 years of age and older. This program evaluation identifies the educational and technological needs and barriers of 116 organizations that participated in the UUAV program throughout its first year of implementation.
Descriptive statistics show twenty-eight percent (n=39) of clinics stated lack of time and 20% (n=28) reported other organizational priorities as main barriers to staff education. Sixty three percent of clinics use Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) and only 23.8% have a prompt that notifies them when adult patients are overdue for vaccinations. Seventy-seven percent of non-local public health clinics currently use EMRs compared to 52% of local public health clinics (p=.0016).
Results indicate that adult vaccination rates among UUAV clinics may be improved by creating online educational tools, promoting the use of evidence-based reminder recall practices, and implementing methods of organizational change identified in the literature.