To describe the immunization needs of indigent community-dwelling patients from a primary care center for the medically underserved, evaluate the impact of a pharmacist immunizer on vaccination rates of adults presenting for care, and evaluate the impact of a pharmacist immunizer on the percent of adult patients who are current on immunizations.
Prospective, controlled, parallel study among patients aged 18 to 79 years presenting for a medical appointment at a primary health care center located in a metropolitan area and providing care to the medically underserved. An immunization needs assessment (INA) was used to identify patients not current on adult immunizations. The intervention group received an offer to be immunized by a pharmacist using the results from the INA. Vaccination rates and percent of patients current on vaccinations were obtained using electronic medical records.
Of 101 participants, 82 (81.2%) needed at least one immunization. The availability of a pharmacist immunizer had a significant impact on the number of patients who were current on all immunizations at the completion of the study. The combination of the INA by a pharmacist demonstrated a significant effect on influenza and tetanus–diphtheria–acellular pertussis vaccination rates. The use of an identical tool by other health care providers did not have an impact on individual vaccine rates or the likelihood of patients being brought current on vaccinations.
A dedicated pharmacist immunizer embedded in an indigent care primary health care clinic had a significant impact on increasing adult immunization rates and bringing patients current on vaccinations.