PHILADELPHIA, May 14, 2014 -- The American College of Physicians (ACP), CECity, and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) today announced a new initiative designed to increase adult immunization rates by assisting physicians and other health care providers in strongly recommending appropriate vaccination and tracking adult immunization rates for quality measurement and improvement. The three organizations made the announcement during the annual National Adult Influenza and Immunization Summit meeting being held May 13-15 in Atlanta.
The goal of this public health initiative is to meet the National Vaccine Advisory Committee's standards for adult immunization. The standards call on all health care providers to assess vaccine status at each visit, strongly recommend vaccinations to patients, administer or refer for immunization, and document vaccination. Current vaccination rates for recommended vaccines in the U.S. fall far short of those goals, with all rates well below 70 percent and fraught with racial and ethnic disparities.[i]
"As a national organization of internists, ACP's internal medicine physician specialists and their practice teams play a critical role in increasing adult immunization rates," said Dr. Robert Centor, Chair of ACP's Board of Regents and a practicing internist. "Recommending and offering appropriate vaccinations is a core component of preventive health care, leading to improved public health, less suffering and fewer deaths from preventable illnesses, and lower health care costs."
The program will encourage health care providers and practice teams to engage in ACP's Adult Immunization Registry available through CECity's MedConcert portal, a cloud-based performance improvement platform. With funding from Pfizer and the experience and resources from the three organizations, the program will be piloted in two states with the goal to broaden the effort nationwide.
"Pfizer is working to raise immunization rates to help protect against vaccine preventable diseases," said Freda Lewis-Hall, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Pfizer Inc. "By bringing together tremendous expertise in health care, technology and quality improvement, this collaboration can make great strides to address the long-standing public health challenge of vaccinating American adults."
Research shows that a physician recommendation is the strongest predictor of vaccination. Although the tracking and improvement of adult immunization rates has been encouraged through guidelines and multiple incentives programs, including the meaningful use of electronic health records, most physicians currently do not have the information they need to close the gap and increase the number of patients vaccinated.
"Our cloud platform enables the secure exchange of data and the ability to cost-effectively convert it into actionable information that physicians need to manage their patient populations and improve patient care," said Simone Karp, RPh, Chief Business Development Officer and CECity co-founder. "Through the use of flexible community-wide registries linked to data networks and measurable improvement tools, this collaboration represents a new generation in quality improvement."
A national advisory group co-chaired by Dr. Bernard Rosof, CEO of QHC Advisory Group and Dr. William Schaffner, Immediate Past-President of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, will oversee the program, which will incorporate documented strategies for increasing adult immunization rates and existing ACP resources.
|Contact: Steve Majewski|
American College of Physicians