Reminders, recall systems boost immunization rates
Rates of immunization particularly in a primary care setting can be improved by constant patient reminders and recall systems, a recent study has found.
Researchers performed a systematic review of 75 studies that assessed the efficacy of patient reminders and recall intervention on the immunization rates in children, adolescents and adults. The databases of Medline, Central, Embase and Cinahl were accessed for the study.
Pooled data from 55 studies (n=138,625) showed that reminders likely increase the rate of immunization (risk ratio [RR], 1.28; 95 percent CI, 1.23–1.35). Examples of recall interventions included autodialer calls, text messages, letters and postcards, a combination of mail or telephone, and recall with outreach.
Based on high-quality evidence, the most effective reminder methods appear to be the use of postcards (RR, 1.18; 1.08–1.30), text messages (RR, 1.29; 1.15–1.44) and autodialer calls (RR, 1.17; 1.03–1.32). Telephone calls (RR, 1.75; 1.20–2.54) and letters (RR, 1.29; 1.21–1.38) also effectively boost immunization rates, but calculations were based on studies with moderate-quality evidence.
Reminders and recalls are also effective in improving overall immunization rates in children (RR, 1.22; 1.15–1.29) and adolescents (1.29; 1.17–1.42).
When analysed by disease type, rates of influenza vaccination also benefited from patient reminders both in children (RR, 1.51; 1.14–1.99) and in adults (RR, 1.29; 1.17–1.43). Immunization against other adult diseases improved, including tetanus, pneumococcus and hepatitis B, although calculations were based on low-quality evidence (RR, 2.08; 0.91–4.78).