Promoting Vaccines in Office-Based Medical Settings Is Needed to Boost Adult Immunization Rates
Promoting immunizations as a part of routine office-based medical practice is needed to improve adult vaccination rates, a highly effective way to curb the spread of diseases across communities, prevent needless illness and deaths, and lower health care costs, according to a new RAND Corporation study.
Increasingly, vaccinations are being offered outside of physician offices at pharmacies, workplaces and retail medical clinics. Even so, office-based medical practice continues to be central to the delivery of recommended vaccinations to adults.
"Regardless of where vaccines are actually administered, office-based providers are uniquely positioned to identify patients who need vaccination, to communicate credibly about the benefits and risks of vaccination, and to ensure that vaccination histories are properly maintained," said Katherine Harris, the study's lead author and a senior economist at RAND, a nonprofit research organization.
The RAND study outlines improvements needed to strengthen the role of office-based medical providers to promote vaccination to adult patients. These include creating tools to improve communications between patients and providers about vaccinations, and stronger incentives to encourage health providers to refer patients to community sites that administer vaccinations if they do not offer them.
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