Send to

Choose Destination
J Urban Health. 1998 Mar;75(1):123-34.

Effectiveness of pediatric practice consultation on missed opportunities for immunization.

Author information

Department of Maternal and Child Health, Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.



To evaluate the effectiveness of pediatric practice consultation in reducing missed-opportunity rates at eight pediatric sites in Baltimore, Maryland. The overarching goal was to decrease the occurrence of missed opportunities from 33% to 15% for the first, second, and third diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and pertussis vaccines during visits at which children were eligible for the vaccines.


The effect of an in-office educational program alone at four sites is compared with the educational program and a consultation on office vaccination practices at four matched sites. All eight sites received a small grant ($2,000) to fund practice changes. The medical records of children making visits before and after the interventions were audited to determine missed-opportunity rates. The policies and operations and the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of physicians and nurse practitioners at each site were also assessed.


The four education-consultation sites experienced a statistically significant 14% net reduction in the missed-opportunity rate relative to the education-only sites. This positive effect, however, was largely due to an increase in missed opportunities at one education-only site. There was a 10% increase in the missed-opportunity rate among the education-only sites and a 4% decrease among the education-consultation sites; neither change was statistically significant. Two of the three sites that reduced missed opportunities were matched health maintenance organizations (HMOs). Shortly after the interventions, both HMOs implemented tracking and follow-up information systems, which were planned before the interventions.


There is no evidence that either the educational program alone or the educational program and consultation combination reduced missed opportunities. The findings suggest that improved tracking and follow-up data systems and vaccination of children at sick visits may reduce missed opportunities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center