Improving Vaccination For Kids Through Pediatric EHRs

Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) have been successfully utilized to improve the quality of patient care by delivering effective health services. Similar results have been seen in pediatric care, where vaccination coverage among children has increased significantly.

The quality of pediatric care is determined by the rate of childhood immunization. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice (ACIP) has given a schedule for childhood and adolescent immunization. Under this complex schedule, children are required to receive 19 vaccinations within 24 months of their birth; sometimes five vaccinations in a single visit to the pediatrician.

Among different reasons for difficulties in successfully following the vaccination schedule is unavailability of data at different healthcare facilities. According to a study, more than 22% of preschool children are administered vaccinations in more than one practice. The study also revealed that often parents misplace vaccination records or forget to bring them at time of visit to the pediatrician, which leaves pediatricians clueless about earlier vaccinations.

This issue has been solved to a large extent with the help of specialty pediatric EMR.

EMR Alerts for vaccination

Pediatric EMR software has specially embedded alerts and reminders for the clinical staff of the practice that will enable nurses or physician assistant to access the previous history of vaccination of the patient at each visit.

These alerts are usually embedded in the registration forms and provider notes, so that nurses or pediatricians can set them for the next vaccination date. Once the patient comes for the visit, the front-desk staff or nurse can review the immunization status – vaccination received, missed and remaining left – on a single click.

Pediatric EMR is designed so that pediatrician can review immunization status of patients at each visit and based on the data, can administer vaccination. Specialty EMR for pediatrics has diagnosis codes for vaccination embedded in the system, which populate automatically when the physicians orders for one.

EMR vaccination recall system

Before the health technology revolution, children who missed their vaccinations were tracked through a paper log – in most cases these paper trails had a dead end. With the implementation of a pediatric EMR, the clinical staff at the practice could follow-up on the patients who fail to turn up for the vaccinations.

Different staff members can access the log created in the EMR, which decreases the possibility of missing the follow-up on the patient.

EMR Vaccination reports

Pediatric EMR Software specifically made for pediatricians generate monthly reports about vaccination status of patients. These reports have the immunization status of patients less than 24 month old, missing one or more vaccinations. These patients are high priority for pediatricians, as the missing vaccinations have to be administered in order to complete the schedule on time.

EMR interoperability

As mentioned earlier, children were at risk of missing vaccinations before of lack of data available or pediatricians’ accessibility to data. Children would get vaccinated at different healthcare facilities, which make it difficult for pediatricians to keep record of their immunization status.

EMRs have made it possible to keep track of complete vaccination data of children. The system allows data sharing between health facilities and necessary stakeholders, which enable pediatricians to review past vaccinations given to the patient or missed.

This way patient – new or old – is administered vaccine according to their data and alerts are set in the software for future vaccines.