EXTRA EFFORT AT IMMUNIZATION PAYS OFF FOR BOZEMAN DEACONESS FAMILY MEDICINE AND PEDIATRIC

Drs. Blake and Feist
JUNE 24, 2012
Bozeman Deaconess Family Medicine and Pediatrics was awarded a 2011 Lighthouse Award for Innovation and Excellence in Immunization from the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.

The award, presented to a medical clinic in recognition of an outstanding immunization project, recognizes strategies that are evidence-based, evaluated for success and able to be replicated in other clinics. Bozeman Deaconess Family Medicine and Pediatrics was one of only two clinics statewide to receive this honor.

Pediatrician James Feist, MD, of Bozeman Deaconess Family Medicine and Pediatrics said the clinic’s goal was to remove any barriers of access for vaccines. To that end, the clinic increased accessibility for any child to receive a vaccine by creating a nursing position dedicated to walk-in patients and having extended weekday and Saturday morning clinic hours. In addition, Bozeman Deaconess Family Medicine and Pediatrics participates in the Vaccine for Children (VFC) program which helps to reduce the cost of the vaccines for those that are uninsured or underinsured. The physicians and nursing staff are committed to making immunizations available at each office visit, not only to the patient being seen, but also to siblings and parents.

According to Dr. Feist, “Every patient visit, regardless of reason or age, has a review of vaccine status. Our goal is to catch patients who may not know their vaccine status or advise them about new vaccines.” Additionally, each patient receives education about the benefits of immunization and the true risks of not being vaccinated. Chart reviews to check and educate about vaccine status, a copy of the vaccine record provided at each visit, and phone calls placed to patients that are behind on their immunizations are part of the processes used at Bozeman Deaconess Family Medicine and Pediatrics to ensure that patients are properly immunized.

Bozeman Deaconess Family Medicine and Pediatrics’ goal was to have a better vaccine coverage level than the National Committee on Quality Assurance goal of 85%. “In 2011, we exceeded that goal with a 92% completed vaccine status for our 2-year-old patients,” Feist said.

Implementing the program took a team effort with a common goal of vaccine coverage being a priority. Support from hospital administration to finance the services, and a joint effort by physicians and nurses to commit the time necessary to educate patients, ensure accuracy of records, and administer vaccines is what leading the way in vaccine administration is all about. Feist said, “This Lighthouse award acknowledges the time, effort, and resources that we’ve put into improving patient centered care and outcomes.”
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