Provider Attitudes Regarding Vaccine Tracking Systems in Pediatric Practices

Acad Pediatr. 2016 Jan-Feb;16(1):34-41. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2015.04.038. Epub 2015 Oct 29.


Objective: To assess among US pediatricians' systems for tracking vaccine administration and inventory and attitudes about these systems; and attitudes regarding and perceived barriers to adoption of a 2-dimensional bar code systems.

Methods: Internet and mail survey of a nationally representative network of pediatricians between September 2011 and January 2012.

Results: The response rate was 71% (288 of 408). The most common methods for recording vaccine information were manual entry into an electronic (52%) or paper (27%) record; 76% recorded information in ≥2 places. Physicians reported ordering vaccine on the basis of seasonal increases in demand (55%), paper-based inventory (52%), or when stock looks low (47%); 79% reported it was time consuming to track inventory and 24% reported their practices frequently run out of vaccines. Among those participating in an immunization information system, 29% transmitted data by automatic uploads and 58% entered data manually. Physicians agreed that bar codes could facilitate tracking of vaccine inventory (96%), would improve patient safety (96%), would be more reliable and accurate than current systems (93%), and could improve the efficiency of vaccine administration (90%). Barriers to adoption of a bar code system included need for software (52%), information technology support (42%), and computer equipment (33%). The total cost at which >50% reported they would definitely or probably adopt a bar code system was between $1000 and $4999.

Conclusions: Most pediatricians report using inefficient systems for tracking vaccine administration and inventory and recognize multiple potential benefits of incorporating vaccine bar coding into their practice. To facilitate adoption, costs will need to be contained and technological barriers addressed.

Keywords: immunization; vaccine bar code; vaccine inventory; vaccine tracking.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Documentation / methods*
  • Electronic Data Processing
  • Equipment and Supplies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pediatricians*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Vaccines / supply & distribution


  • Vaccines