Feasibility of initiating and sustaining registry-based immunization recall in private practices.

Child Health Evaluation and Research Unit, Division of General Pediatrics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 48109-5456, USA.
Academic pediatrics 02/2012; 12(2):104-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.acap.2012.01.002
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To assess the feasibility of initiating and sustaining immunization recall by private practices, including the barriers and costs, using a statewide immunization information system (IIS).
Private practices in southeast Michigan were recruited in 2007 to perform IIS-based immunization recalls. Enrolled practices were provided with training and asked to conduct 4 recalls during the course of 12 months of children 19 to 35 months of age. Each practice recorded the time they spent performing recall-related activities; labor costs were estimated. Formative and summative evaluations with semistructured interviews were conducted to identify barriers.
Of 97 eligible pediatric and family medicine practices, 44 declined to participate, 32 did not respond to repeated contacts, and 20 agreed to enroll in the study (21%). A total of 56 recalls were conducted during the study period, with 9 practices completing at least 4 recalls and 7 practices completing 1 to 3 recalls; 4 practices conducted no recalls. Common barriers reported included time constraints and executing all steps of the recalls. Practice costs per patient recalled ranged from $0.05 to more than $6 and were primarily driven by the type of personnel who performed recalls. The costs of creating a roster of current patients comprised nearly one-half of total labor costs.
Few private provider practices that we contacted were willing to participate in this study of IIS-based recall, and less than one-half of enrolled practices completed the desired 4 recall cycles in 12 months. Time constraints and other real-world problems should not be underestimated in determining the feasibility of practice-based immunization recall. Efforts to increase the use of a statewide IIS for recall in private practice settings should emphasize ongoing training and technical support to practice staff. Improved interoperability with electronic health record systems may foster practice-based recall by reducing the labor intensity of roster building and other recall activities.

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