Improving the Immunization Rate for Children Seen in Public Health Clinics

Summary

Impact Statement: 
Vaccinating children is imperative in the prevention and spread of life-threatening communicable diseases. A rural regional health district conducted an improvement project using PDSA at three public health clinic sites to increase immunization rates among 19–35-month-old children seen at their clinics. Prior to the improvement project, immunization rates at the three clinics had been decreasing; after the improvement project the clinics saw a sustained rate of increase in all three clinics in the percent of clients who received all ACIP-recommended vaccines for their age group with six month results nearing the target of 95%.
Summary: 
The Southeast Health District (SEHD), in rural southeast Georgia, is made up of 16 local county health departments. A quality improvement (QI) project was initiated to address the decrease in the immunization rate of 19–35-month-old children seen in public health departments within the district. Three pilot sites were included in this project: Bulloch County Health Department, Clinch County Health Department, and Pierce County Health Department. These public health clinic sites serve the communities within SEHD with the largest population, the smallest population, and the median population. Although many factors can affect the childhood immunization rate for a community, vaccine shortage, lack of provider access, and affordability of vaccines are not current issues within this public health district. This project focused on the ability of the public health clinic staff to assess the immunization status of clients who use public health clinical services and the ability to provide all Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)–recommended vaccines to these clients when needed. During the QI project, several strategies for process improvement occurred simultaneously. By the end of the project, each pilot site had seen an improvement in the immunization rate for the 19–35-month-old children seen in its health department. None of the pilot sites reached the goal of 90% coverage during the short time frame of this project, but they all made gradual, documented improvements.
Organization that conducted the QI initiative: 
Southeast Health District
Citation: 

Davis, K. Public Health Quality Improvement Exchange. Improving the Immunization Rate for Children Seen in Public Health Clinics. Thu, 03/09/2017 - 12:33. Available at https://www.phqix.org/content/improving-immunization-rate-children-seen-public-health-clinics. Accessed May 27, 2018.

Submission Status: 
Completed
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Comments

mschigoda's picture
Submitted by mschigoda on

Great project- thanks for sharing!

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Melissa Schigoda, MS
Public Health Improvement Program Coordinator
National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI)

Submitted by gkroberts on

I work for another health district in Georgia and we have also been looking at improving childhood immunization rates. You have done a great job using QI tools to find the root cause and address these improvement oppurtunities. I am glad to see that your project is improving your immunization rates, and hope that it remains that way through the end of your project. I hope that you can implement these same improvements in all 16 counties within your district. Thanks for sharing your story with us!

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Gurleen Roberts, MPH
Director of Quality Management
Cobb & Douglas Public Health
Marietta, GA
gurleen.roberts@dph.ga.gov

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