Clinics using an electronic health record system with clinician and patient prompts at office appointments resulted in significantly more female patients initiating and completing the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in a timely fashion, according to a new study. HPV can cause cervical and other cancers.

The objectives of the study were to examine the effect of simply turning on an EHR alert for HPV vaccination, series completion, and adherence to recommended dosing intervals among eligible female patients. Researchers compared the initiation and completion of the HPV vaccine among patients in two community-based networks with EHRs: one with a prompt and reminder system (prompted cohort) and one without (unprompted cohort).

Also See: Spatial Analysis Software, EHR Pinpoint Low Vaccine Areas

A total of 5,994 female patients aged 9 to 26 years in the prompted cohort and 9,027 in the unprompted cohort were seen and eligible for the HPV vaccine. Results of the study, published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, found that more patients initiated and achieved timely completion of the HPV vaccine series in clinics using an EHR system with prompts compared with clinics without prompts.

Patients in the prompted cohort were significantly more likely to receive all three doses of the HPV vaccine on time and with shorter median intervals between each dose compared with those in the unprompted cohort.

“All EHRs should have a functionality for vaccine alerts as a core component,” conclude researchers. “Further refinements of this process need to be examined to push higher the uptake and timely completion of HPV vaccine. We also need to examine outreach that moves beyond the patient–clinician encounter and may have an even greater impact.”

The full article can be found here.

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