Improving immunization delivery using an electronic health record: the ImmProve project

Acad Pediatr. Sep-Oct 2013;13(5):458-65. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2013.03.004. Epub 2013 Mar 14.


Objective: Though an essential pediatric preventive service, immunizations are challenging to deliver reliably. Our objective was to measure the impact on pediatric immunization rates of providing clinicians with electronic health record-derived immunization prompting.

Methods: Operating in a large, urban, hospital-based pediatric primary care clinic, we evaluated 2 interventions to improve immunization delivery to children ages 2, 6, and 13 years: point-of-care, patient-specific electronic clinical decision support (CDS) when children overdue for immunizations presented for care, and provider-specific bulletins listing children overdue for immunizations.

Results: Overall, the proportion of children up to date for a composite of recommended immunizations at ages 2, 6, and 13 years was not different in the intervention (CDS active) and historical control (CDS not active) periods; historical immunization rates were high. The proportion of children receiving 2 doses of hepatitis A immunization before their second birthday was significantly improved during the intervention period. Human papillomavirus (HPV) immunization delivery was low during both control and intervention periods and was unchanged for 13-year-olds. For 14-year-olds, however, 4 of the 5 highest quarterly rates of complete HPV immunization occurred in the final year of the intervention. Provider-specific bulletins listing children overdue for immunizations increased the likelihood of identified children receiving catch-up hepatitis A immunizations (hazard ratio 1.32; 95% confidence interval 1.12-1.56); results for HPV and the composite of recommended immunizations were of a similar magnitude but not statistically significant.

Conclusions: In our patient population, with high baseline uptake of recommended immunizations, electronic health record-derived immunization prompting had a limited effect on immunization delivery. Benefit was more clearly demonstrated for newer immunizations with lower baseline uptake.

Keywords: clinical decision support systems; immunizations; quality improvement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Decision Support Systems, Clinical*
  • Electronic Health Records*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunization Programs / methods*
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Pediatrics / methods
  • Quality Improvement
  • Reminder Systems*