Alerts in EHRs increase rates of HPV vaccine

The clinical reminder function within electronic health records (EHRs) could lead to more individuals receiving the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, according to a study published in The American Journal of Managed Care.

Vaccinations are a first step in preventative medicine, yet patients continue to abstain from them later in life. In this study, researchers evaluated data from the 2007 – 2012 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey to evaluate if EHR systems that include a clinical reminder function could lead to increased rates of HPV immunizations.

Evaluations of survey results showed that physicians with EHRs with clinical reminder functions were more likely to order HPV vaccines when compared to physicians without a reminder HER system. The reminders had the most effect in increasing HPV vaccinations rates among adolescent males.

“Overall, physicians who report using clinical reminders were more likely to order HPV immunizations,” concluded first author Jaeyong Bae, PhD and colleagues. “However, the association of clinical reminders with HPV immunizations was not significant in the younger adolescent subpopulation. Further, given that HPV incidence decreases significantly even with small gains in vaccination rates, the increase in HPV immunizations found in the male population aged 11 to 21 years is promising. Therefore, targeting males to receive HPV vaccination immunizations through clinical reminders provides a positively disproportionate return on vaccination rates and disease burden.”