Getting our teenage patients back to our offices for scheduled health maintenance visits is often easier said than done. When you add in the fact that some of these visits also include recommended vaccination administration, missing health maintenance visits becomes even more concerning. Suh et al. (doi: 10.1542/peds.2011-1714) studied whether the implementation of a reminder/recall system of two letters and two telephone calls to the patient and family resulted in receipt of targeted vaccines and increased net revenue if a teen did come in for all or even one targeted vaccine. The study randomized 1,600 teens in four private practices in Denver to the intervention or routine appointment scheduling and reminders, and the report has lots of information to share with our readers about implementation of this two letter/two call intervention. Unfortunately, while Suh et al.’s system shows some improvement in delivering expected vaccines, it still leaves many teens not showing up for their visits or their vaccines. Are things better if teens get seen at a school-based health center that uses a similar vaccine recall intervention? Kempe et al. (doi: 10.1542/peds.2011-2921) investigated this in a randomized controlled trial (also in Denver) and found even stronger results.
Are you using a vaccine recall/reminder system in your office or school system? Are you tracking your data and getting even better results than these two studies? Feel free to share your thoughts on the benefits and cost-effectiveness of vaccine recall/reminder interventions via an e-letter to our journal or simply through our journal’s Facebook page.