Pilot Project Highlights Pharmacists' Key Role in Identifying And Resolving Unmet Vaccination Needs

The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Foundation today announced results from the pilot phase of Project IMPACT Immunizations.

Washington, D.C. — The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Foundation today announced results from the pilot phase of Project IMPACT Immunizations. The results show that adult vaccination needs are better addressed when pharmacists have bi-directional access to immunization information systems (IIS) data that enables them to conduct comprehensive vaccination history reviews at the point-of-care.

Summary of Key Findings

  • For every study patient that requested an influenza vaccination from the pharmacy, an additional 1.45 vaccines were forecasted as due at the point-of-care
  • 33.5 percent of the identified unmet vaccination needs were resolved during the six-month study period 95.3 percent were administered by the pharmacist at the point-of-care 4.7 percent were resolved at a patient-initiated follow up visit
  • There was a 41.4 percent increase in the number of vaccines administered as a result of this innovative model of care

The full report of the pilot project is published in Population Health Management.

“We are encouraged by the outcomes of the pilot phase and look forward to scaling Project IMPACT Immunizations,” said Benjamin Bluml, RPh Senior Vice President, Research and Innovation of the APhA Foundation. “The results validate that pharmacists can help identify and resolve unmet vaccination needs by recommending appropriate vaccines based on a person’s individual needs, particularly when equipped with innovative point-of-care technologies that support a streamlined process of care.”

Project IMPACT Immunizations is a multi-phase initiative designed to evaluate what population health improvements are possible when pharmacists implement an innovative care model in community pharmacy practice settings to address unmet adult vaccination needs. During the pilot phase pharmacists reviewed patient-specific vaccination forecasts that were generated by clinical decision support technology within the bi-directional IIS at the time the patient requested an influenza vaccine.

The forecasts identified the patient’s unmet vaccination needs based on the current Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) Recommendations. Having access to this information at the point-of-care provided pharmacists with opportunities to educate patients and recommend appropriate vaccines based on a patient’s individual needs. At the point-of-care, pharmacists were able to administer vaccines within their scope of practice and document the administered vaccines in the bi-directional IIS to update the patient’s vaccine record, thus contributing to the patient’s immunization record that is available to all the members of the healthcare team that have access to the IIS.

The APhA Foundation partnered with eight community pharmacies to implement the pilot phase. The implementation was made possible through generous support from Merck and the APhA Foundation. The Washington State Pharmacy Association provided state-level support in the project. The bi-directional IIS used in each participating pharmacy was supported by Scientific Technologies Corporation.