Implementing Clinical Improvement Plans to Increase Immunization Rates
In 2014, thirty-eight MaineHealth practices adopted a standardized clinical improvement plan that identified and recommended evidence-based strategies for improving immunization rates; facilitated monthly practice-level data sharing among MaineHealth organizations, leadership teams and provider champions; and established action plans, based on challenges identified during site visits or technical assistance requests.
MaineHealth practices still utilize the clinical improvement plan as a guiding framework for improving childhood immunization rates from birth to age 19. The MaineHealth Child Health program works in tandem with a pediatric practice support specialist from the MaineHealth Accountable Care Organization to provide targeted and timely technical assistance and support.
In addition to sharing evidence-based strategies, the Child Health Team facilitates peer learning across pediatric and family medicine sites. This enables to the team to highlight good work that is already being done across the system, and provide targeted support to practices in areas that remain challenging.
Taking action to improve immunization rates
Pediatric and family medicine sites across the MaineHealth system have worked to improve immunization rates through a variety of strategies implemented at the practice level.
At LincolnHealth, Waldoboro Family Medicine committed staff time and attention to data clean up to make sure that their patients had accurate immunization records in their electronic medical record and in ImmPact. When they reviewed their current patient list in Epic, and compared it to their attributed patients in ImmPact, they noticed that the two lists were substantially different. They updated the ImmPact registry with only their current patients, and removed any patient names from ImmPact if they no longer came to their practice for care.
After updating the data in ImmPact to reflect their current patients, they ran a new report to check their immunization rates for 2 year olds. They discovered that they are actually meeting several of the individual 2 year-old vaccine CDC benchmarks. Completing this project highlighted how important it is to maintain accurate data, both to reflect the good work they are already doing, as well as to inform future improvement activities in areas that are in need of the most attention.