Study links outreach to vaccination rates

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A six-month study by the Ohio State Center for Clinical and Translational Science shows the impact that written instructions and active electronic medical records can have on vaccination rates. Drug Store News reports that the experiment used a pool of 2,500 patients over age 60 who had not received the shingles vaccine (EHRs helped identify the unvaccinated), and then split them among three scenarios: some received shingles vaccine information via e-mail, others via postcard, and still others by way of information conveyed at a doctor's visit.

The result: e-mailed patients with updated EHRs had the highest vaccination rates among the three groups, at 13.2%, compared to the 5% rate of updated EHR patients who did not receive e-mails.

Snail-mail patients also benefited from the contact: the vaccination rate among mail recipients was 5%, compared to 1.8% for those who were not sent information.

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