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Vaccine. 2011 Sep 16;29(40):7035-41. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2011.07.032. Epub 2011 Jul 23.

A computerized pneumococcal vaccination reminder system in the adult emergency department.

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  • 1Division of Biomedical Informatics, Eskind Biomedical Library, Vanderbilt University, 2209 Garland Avenue, Nashville, TN 37232-8340, USA.



Pneumococcal vaccination is an effective strategy to prevent invasive pneumococcal disease in the elderly. Emergency department (ED) visits present an underutilized opportunity to increase vaccination rates; however, designing a sustainable vaccination program in an ED is challenging. We examined whether an information technology supported approach would provide a feasible and sustainable method to increase vaccination rates in an adult ED.


During a 1-year period we prospectively evaluated a team-oriented, workflow-embedded reminder system that integrated four different information systems. The computerized triage application screened all patients 65 years and older for pneumococcal vaccine eligibility with information from the electronic patient record. For eligible patients the computerized provider order entry system reminded clinicians to place a vaccination order, which was passed to the order tracking application. Documentation of vaccine administration was then added to the longitudinal electronic patient record. The primary outcome was the vaccine administration rate in the ED. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to estimate the odds ratios and their 95% confidence intervals, representing the overall relative risks of ED workload related variables associated with vaccination rate.


Among 3371 patients 65 years old and older screened at triage 1309 (38.8%) were up-to-date with pneumococcal vaccination and 2062 (61.2%) were eligible for vaccination. Of the eligible patients, 621 (30.1%) consented to receive the vaccination during their ED visit. Physicians received prompts for 428 (68.9%) patients. When prompted, physicians declined to order the vaccine in 192 (30.9%) patients, while 222 (10.8%) of eligible patients actually received the vaccine. The computerized reminder system increased vaccination rate from a baseline of 38.8% to 45.4%. Vaccination during the ED visit was associated younger age (OR: 0.972, CI: 0.953-0.991), Caucasian race (OR: 0.329, CI: 0.241-0.448), and longer ED boarding times (OR: 1.039, CI: 1.013-1.065).


The integrated informatics solution seems to be a feasible and sustainable model to increase vaccination rates in a challenging ED environment.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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