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.