MILWAUKEE (4/25/2011) - Children's Hospital and Health System is succeeding in increasing immunization rates among its patients and clients.
In 2010, the health system launched a multiyear, systemwide effort to increase immunization rates among children it serves. This initiative is key to achieving the health system's vision of helping Wisconsin's children to be the healthiest in the nation. As part of the initiative:
* The health system has partnered with the Milwaukee Health Department and community organizations to spread the word that vaccines are safe and necessary.
* Health care providers discuss the importance and safety of immunizations with parents during visits to our hospital and clinics.
* At each visit, health care providers use the Wisconsin Immunization Registry to check the immunization status of patients younger than 25 months and update information in the WIR database, if needed.
* If a child is not up to date on immunizations, parents and staff partner to identify where the recommended immunizations can be administered.
* Health care providers help connect parents with a "medical home," a place where children can receive primary care on a regular basis.
Results show that all four participating health system entities – Children's Hospital of Wisconsin (Milwaukee, Kenosha and Fox Valley locations), Children's Medical Group, Children's Community Health Plan and Children's Service Society of Wisconsin – achieved improvements in the initiative's first year.
The following areas showed measureable improvement in the percentage of children who were up to date on the recommended immunizations by their second birthdays:
Entity / 2009* Percentage / 2010 Percentage
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin hospital and clinics / 62.2 / 63.0
(Milwaukee, Kenosha and Fox Valley combined)
Children's Medical Group (all offices combined)* / 69.8 / 77.5
Children's Community Health Plan / 70.5 / 72.2
Children's Service Society of Wisconsin / 55.7 / 68.9
These rates compare to compliance rates of about 45 percent for children living in Milwaukee and 70 to 80 percent for all children living in Wisconsin. In time, the health system believes its efforts will increase immunization rates in the city and state.
"Children's Hospital and Health System is uniquely positioned to increase immunization rates in our community," said Peggy Troy, MSN, RN, president and CEO of the health system. "Our health system has a high level of physician engagement. We also have a network of entities – our primary care clinics, a health plan and our social service agencies – that reach many children in the community. These entities work together to achieve measurable results. We are well prepared to set a standard on immunization rates that all other communities in the nation will aspire to achieve."
Children's Hospital and Health System is:
* Continuing processes implemented in 2010 in both inpatient and outpatient areas to check vaccine status and helping families who are behind in recommended vaccinations to develop a catch-up plan.
* Planning a vaccine clinic for the Milwaukee hospital.
* Increasing community partnerships.
Children's Hospital and Health System is the region's only independent health care system dedicated solely to the health and well-being of children. Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, the health system's flagship member, is recognized as one of the leading pediatric health care centers in the United States. It was named one of America's Best Children's Hospitals by U.S. News & World Report. Other health system entities include Children's Hospital of Wisconsin-Fox Valley, Children's Hospital and Health System Foundation, Children's Medical Group, Children's Physician Group, Children's Specialty Group, Children's Service Society of Wisconsin, Children's Research Institute and Children's Community Health Plan. In 2009, the health system invested more than $76 million back into the community to improve the health status of children through medical care, advocacy, education and pediatric medical research. For more information visit the website at chw.org.
*Results are adjusted to remove any amount of difference between 2009 and 2010 percentages caused by the nationwide shortage of Haemophilus influenzae Type b (Hib) vaccine in 2009.