Immunization rates in the United States continue to fall well below federal goals
The American College of Physicians (ACP) was awarded an initial $175,000 grant for 2012-13 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to create a three-year, evidence-based program to increase adult immunization rates in five states.
"Earning this competitive award will help ACP's internal medicine physician members and their practice teams increase adult immunization rates among their patients," said David L. Bronson, MD, FACP, president, ACP. "Providing recommended vaccinations is a core component of preventive health care, leading to improved public health, less suffering, fewer deaths, and lower health care costs."
Working with ACP state chapters in Arizona, Delaware, Northern Illinois, Maryland, and New York, the program will assist up to 100 internal medicine practices in implementing strategies for improving adult immunization rates toward the federal government's goals for 2020, including seasonal influenza immunization rates of 80 to 90 percent of adults, depending on risk factors. The current immunization rates for influenza for adults aged 18 and older are 39.5 percent in Arizona, 44.9 percent in Delaware, 36.4 percent in Illinois, 46.9 percent in Maryland, and 41.4 percent in New York.
"This program builds on prior ACP initiatives designed to improve health through encouraging appropriate immunization of adults," said Michael S. Barr, MD, FACP, MBA, who leads ACP's Medical Practice, Professionalism & Quality division. "We hope to increase adult immunization rates at participating practices by at least 15 percent. With an estimated 750 to 1,000 physicians participating in the program, we expect to have a total patient pool of 1.5 to 2 million."
ACP's strategies through the three-year program to increase adult immunization rates include physician and clinical team education, practice assessment and performance feedback, increasing provider recommendation of immunization to patients, and implementation of standing order protocols from an attending physician.