Study: EHR Alerts Boost HPV Vaccination Rates in Pediatric Patients

May 13, 2015 in News

Alerts in electronic health record systems that prompt providers to begin or continue the human papilloma virus vaccination with pediatric patients lead to an increased rate of protection against cervical cancer, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, Health IT Analytics reports.

The HPV vaccine is administered in three separate injections. However, about 85% of patients miss at least one opportunity to receive the vaccine while visiting their provider for another service, according to the study.

Details of Study

For the study, researchers assigned a total of 15,000 patients to two groups:

  • One group was treated by providers with EHRs that lacked HPV vaccine alerts; and
  • Another group was seen by providers with EHRs that included alerts about HPV vaccination opportunities.

Providers with EHR systems equipped with the alert were instructed to indicate where the patient was in the process of receiving the vaccination.

Study Findings

Researchers found that the alerts increased the incidence of vaccination and helped improve the timeliness of doses, Health IT Analytics reports.

Specifically, the researchers noted that when providers used EHR systems with the alerts, patients ages nine to 18 were:

  • Three times more likely to begin the series of HPV vaccine injections; and
  • 10 times more likely to complete the series.

In addition, patients ages 19 to 26 were:

  • Six times more likely to begin the series; and
  • Eight times more likely to complete it.

The study also found that the reminders were especially effective for increasing the vaccination rate among blacks, who have been less likely to get the vaccine (Bresnick, Health IT Analytics, 5/11).

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