Duke Clinical Research Institute, Premier and Pfizer Collaborate on Improving Adult Immunization Rates

Sept. 1, 2016
Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI), Duke Primary Care, Premier Inc. and Pfizer are teaming up on a data-driven initiative to develop evidence-based interventions to help primary care providers boost adult vaccination rates.

Durham, N.C.-based Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) and Duke Primary Care, Charlotte, N.C.-based Premier Inc. and Pfizer are teaming up on a data-driven initiative to develop evidence-based interventions to help primary care providers boost adult vaccination rates.

The initiative, the Adult Immunization Project, will provide research-level analytics around an evidence-based quality improvement approach designed to help hospitals and health systems meet population health goals and implement scalable prevention strategies, according to an announcement about the initiative. Researchers will jointly work to develop evidence-based interventions to support indicated adult vaccination practices among providers in the Duke Health system.

According to the announcement from DCRI, adults are more likely than children to contract vaccine-preventable diseases, largely because adult immunization rates are considerably lower than childhood rates. Real-world data show that pneumococcal, influenza, tetanus, and herpes zoster vaccination rates lag well behind national goals, particularly for high-risk patient populations. Nearly 50,000 American adults die each year from vaccine-preventable diseases or their complications.

“We all believe that adult immunization rates could be improved,” Tracy Wang, M.D., faculty director for DCRI Education, said in a prepared statement. DCRI is an academic research organization and a part of the Duke University School of Medicine. “Less than half of all eligible adults in the U.S. get an annual flu vaccination, which is one of the more common vaccines. The rates of vaccinations for other diseases, such as shingles and pneumonia, are even lower.”

As part of the collaboration, researchers at Duke will analyze data from primary care practices before, during, and after the deployment of educational interventions to determine which approaches were successful in helping patients understand the benefits and risks associated with various vaccinations. The project will be piloted throughout Duke Primary Care practices, engaging frontline clinic staff on improving patient awareness and delivery of indicated and customary immunization care for current adult patients.

“With the data being collected, we’ll be able to better understand what motivates provider and patient behavior, and understand what types of interventions have the most traction,” John Anderson, M.D., chief medical officer for Duke Primary Care, said in a statement.

Patient data will be stored, streamlined, and analyzed using Premier’s CECity quality analytics platform. Premier is a Charlotte, N.C.-based healthcare alliance.

The initiative is funded by drug manufacturer Pfizer. 

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