Recent Engagement Study Finds 80% of Individuals Who Have Electronic Access to Their Immunization Records Also Received Their Flu Shot in 2016
CDC’s National Influenza Vaccination Week is December 4-10. Michael L. Popovich, CEO of Scientific Technologies Corporation (STC), indicated “this public health awareness event is only one week in December but the flu comes early and stays late and affects millions each year.” Thousands of pharmacy, provider and public health partners throughout the country have been providing flu vaccines on a daily basis. In fact, a major national pharmacy chain provided over 1 million flu immunizations to individuals across the country in the first week of October alone. STC’s ImmsLink™, a pharmacy immunization interface, reported these immunization events to all 50 state public health immunization registries. In some cases ImmsLink™ provided a real time electronic data exchange between the pharmacist at the point of care and the state health department using immunization intelligence™ to determine additional patient immunizations that were due.
The power of data, combined with technology and analytics, leverages a pharmacy or provider visit for a flu shot to reduce an individual’s risk to other vaccine preventable diseases such as pneumonia, whooping cough and shingles. But this isn’t always enough. Consumer outreach and education can provide additional information to support targeted immunization programs and therefore increase immunization rates. This month, STC utilized their Immunization Ambassadors (immunizationambassadors.com) and My Immunization Record (myir.net) networks to determine the percentage of individuals within these groups that received their influenza immunization. With a direct communication to nearly 8,000 individuals, recipients were asked if they had their flu shot and were reminded to check their immunization histories as contained in their state registry.
Of the total, over one quarter accessed the communication with 80% indicating they had received their flu shot. For the other 20%, will this communication a national campaign or your pharmacy store sign that says “flu shots today” increase the uptake of the flu vaccine? Popovich says; “It doesn’t matter. Influenza exists everywhere. It takes a complete collaborative effort from within a large health ecosystem to message, deliver and impact vaccine related health improvements. Technology is one piece but how data is used how resources are allocated and targeted to high risk populations and how you empower individuals and providers with intelligence will be the difference.”