BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Many pediatric rheumatology patients are at increased risk of pneumococcal disease secondary to a deficient immune system and/or immunosuppressive medications. The goal of this study was to improve pneumococcal vaccination rates in this high-risk population.
METHODS: Eligible patients included children at least 2 years old and adults with systemic lupus erythematosus and/or currently on immunosuppressive medication. Interventions included a presentation to rheumatology providers, creation of immunization algorithm, previsit planning, placing reminders on clinic forms, and sending reminder e-mails to providers. Chart reviews were performed, and control charts were established to portray change in immunization rates.
RESULTS: The preintervention immunization rates for 90 patient visits compared with the immunization rates for the 53-week postintervention period with 1033 patient visits and 299 separate patients were all statistically significant. The 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine rate increased from 6.7% to 48.4% (χ2 = 58.3, P < .001), 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine rate increased from 8.9% to 28.4% (χ2 = 16.0, P < .001), and combined rate increased from 0% to 23.2% (χ2 = 25.2, P < .001). The improvement was sustained with shifts in the data for each vaccine and combined immunizations for final average rates of 60.9% for 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, 39.2% for 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine, and 33.7% for combined.
CONCLUSIONS: Pneumococcal vaccination is an important part of the care for systemic lupus erythematosus patients and patients on immunosuppressive medications. Simple interventions through this quality improvement project led to a marked increase in pneumococcal vaccination rates in this vulnerable population.
- Accepted March 25, 2015.
- Copyright © 2015 by the American Academy of Pediatrics