It is the start of a new year. Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? How many media reports did you hear about how to keep those resolutions? Particularly, when it comes to dieting or exercising, we hear about making specific, manageable goals in order to see real change over time.
The same may be said for improving vaccination rates as evidenced in a presentation at the recent National Immunization Conference by Dr. Alix Casler from the Orlando Health Physicians Associates. Dr. Casler detailed how her practice increased their three-dose HPV immunization coverage rates from 14 percent of females and 3 percent of males to 55 percent of females and 47 percent of males two years later. First dose changes were even more dramatic from 23 percent of females and 12 percent of males to 75 percent of females and 72 percent of males.
Dr. Casler discussed several specific changes that contributed to the overall improvement. Some of which included:
- Set manageable goals for improvement — during the first year of the program, the goal was to show any improvement.
- Leverage peer influence and accountability — individual physician rates were shared with each physician privately, but over time were shared with the department and later, published.
- Prioritize the goal for everyone — this was accomplished in a variety of ways including provision of education, resources (such as scripts and fact sheets), and incentives.
- Institute pre-visit planning — the patient list was revised to include priorities for each patient; this did not only include vaccine needs, but screenings and other assessments as well.
- Schedule follow-up appointments proactively — second and third doses were scheduled at the time of the first dose. Missed or cancelled follow-up appointments were proactively rescheduled by office staff.
To find out more about this group’s experience, read the article by Tara Haelle published in Pediatric News on Dec. 1, 2016.
Any of these ideas sound interesting? Consider some of Dr. Casler and her colleagues’ ideas for your practice. Maybe 2017 is the year you will be able to improve one of your metrics using some of the ideas from their success story.