Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Using an IIS Help Desk as a Parent Resource to Increase Immunization Rates

Letty D. Cherry Kreger, Immunization Registry Program, Riverside County Department of Public Health, 10370 Hemet Street, Ste 100, Riverside, CA, USA

Learning Objectives for this Presentation:
By the end of the presentation, participants will be able to describe how the IIS Help Desk can be used as a parent resource to improve immunization rates.

The Help Desk is more than a tool to assist providers who have questions about the IIS. The Help Desk can be utilized to help parents reduce missed immunization opportunities through referrals, prevent duplicate immunizations and serve as an educational and marketing source for the IIS.

Riverside County, CA

Parents of children residing in Riverside County, CA

Project Description:
VaxTrack has been tracking Help Desk calls in the Provider Management Database (PMDB) since 2003. Parents who call the Help Desk ask for referrals (immunizations, exams and insurance), seek a status change (opt out, no recall), request an immunization record, or seek additional information about immunizations or the registry. Help Desk staff are trained to use marketing techniques to address parents' registry concerns, and they are provided with the most current information to assist parents whose children are in need of immunizations or a medical home. Parent calls received between January 2003 and October 2007 were analyzed to determine the Help Desk's effectiveness at increasing both immunization opportunities and child participation in the registry.

Results/Lessons Learned:
Between 2003 and 2007, the number of parents requesting immunization-related referrals increased by 64% although the number of reminder/recall postcards that were mailed decreased by one-third. Registry opt-outs decreased by 86%. Parent requests for duplicate immunization records increased by 7000%. These results show that the Help Desk is indeed a valuable parent resource to increase immunization rates and decrease duplicate immunizations through a combination of appropriate referrals and timely education on the benefits of the immunization registry.