In a rare partnership, we collaborated with local community healthcare clinics in an effort to raise the low immunization rates common among African American and Latino patients in South Los Angeles.
Raising Immunization Rates Immunize LA Families (2007-2012) implemented a medical provider-based intervention to enhance immunization practices at community healthcare clinics in 2008. We carried out this intervention for five years, until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its funding priorities.
The intervention, endorsed by the CDC, is known as AFIX (Assessment of patient vaccination records, Feedback to the clinics, Incentive for the clinics to enact organizational change and eXchange of information). We used a modified AFIX model to assess and improve immunization practices among adults age 50 years and above. Read more about AFIX here>>
Our medical provider-based intervention was a non-traditional partnership between medical clinics and an outside non-medical organization; its success was based on a firm relationship of trust between the two partners.
Pediatricians We initially implemented a modified AFIX strategy in private pediatricians’ offices during the tenure of Immunize LA Kids, from 2000 to 2007. Read more about Immunize LA Kids here>>
Community Clinics Immunize LA Families collaborated with three community clinic partners located in South Los Angeles: To Help Everyone (T.H.E) Clinic, South Central Family Health Center and Watts Healthcare Corporation.
At each site, clinic staff annually selected a sample of patients 50 years and older, and our staff conducted a review of each patient’s chart, documenting annual flu vaccination and whether the patient had ever received a pneumonia vaccination.
Our staff coordinated annual meetings for sharing feedback and strategies, and provided the clinics ongoing follow-up and support. In 2011 our staff held an information exchange session with staff from each of the three partners.
Improvement After three years of partnership, we documented a 34% increase in annual flu shots among older Latino adults and a 25% increase among older African American adults across the three clinics. For pneumonia immunization, there was an 8% increase among older Latino adults and a 40% increase among older African Americans.
Improvements in clinic immunization systems and practices were also achieved. These included improved documentation of immunizations and client demographics, use of immunization reminders, immunization-only appointments, and use of the California Immunization Registry (CAIR) for adult patients.