Improving Pneumococcal Vaccine Rates

Nurse Protocols Versus Clinical Reminders

Authors

  • David C. Rhew MD,

    1. Department of Medicine, UCLA, Los Angeles, Calif and the Department of Medicine, West Los Angeles VA Medical Center, Los Angeles, Calif
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  • Peter A. Glassman MBBS, MSc,

    1. Department of Medicine, UCLA, Los Angeles, Calif and the Department of Medicine, West Los Angeles VA Medical Center, Los Angeles, Calif
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  • Matthew Bidwell Goetz MD

    1. Department of Medicine, UCLA, Los Angeles, Calif and the Department of Medicine, West Los Angeles VA Medical Center, Los Angeles, Calif
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Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Goetz: Chief, Infectious Diseases, West Los Angeles VA, 111F, 11301 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90073.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To compare the effectiveness of three interventions designed to improve the pneumococcal vaccination rate.

DESIGN: A prospective controlled trial.

SETTING: Department of Veterans Affairs ambulatory care clinic.

PATIENTS/PARTICIPANTS: There were 3,502 outpatients with scheduled visits divided into three clinic teams (A, B, or C).

INTERVENTIONS: During a 12-week period, each clinic team received one intervention: (A) nurse standing orders with comparative feedback as well as patient and clinician reminders; (B) nurse standing orders with compliance reminders as well as patient and clinician reminders; and (C) patient and clinician reminders alone. Team A nurses (comparative feedback group) received information on their vaccine rates relative to those of team B nurses. Team B nurses (compliance reminders group) received reminders to vaccinate but no information on vaccine rates.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Team A nurses assessed more patients than team B nurses (39% vs 34%, p = .009). However, vaccination rates per total patient population were similar (22% vs 25%, p = .09). The vaccination rates for both team A and team B were significantly higher than the 5% vaccination rate for team C (p < .001).

CONCLUSIONS: Nurse-initiated vaccine protocols raised vaccination rates substantially more than a physician and patient reminder system. The nurse-initiated protocol with comparative feedback modestly improved the assessment rate compared with the protocol with compliance reminders, but overall vaccination rates were similar.

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