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Addressing COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance Within a Large Healthcare System: a Population Health Model.

Spelman JF, Kravetz JD, Bastian L, Ruser C. Addressing COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance Within a Large Healthcare System: a Population Health Model. Journal of general internal medicine. 2022 Mar 1; 37(4):954-957.

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BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic, and vaccine hesitancy, pose a significant public health threat. The Veterans Health Administration system is uniquely situated to provide insights into the implementation of a population health approach to vaccine acceptance. AIM: We describe the VA Connecticut Healthcare System''s (VACHS) quality improvement project to improve rates of vaccine uptake. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: VACHS consists of eight primary care sites with 80 primary care providers delivering care to 47,000 enrolled veterans. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: Our program involved identification of a local champion, education sessions, development of vaccine acceptance tools (including the templated "COVID-19 Prevention Letter" and the "COVID-19 Prevention Telephone Note"), and application of a population health approach (use of a prioritization scheme and playbook) by primary care patient-aligned care (PACT) medical home teams. PROGRAM EVALUATION: We found increased rates of vaccination at VACT compared to the surrounding region 6 months after implementation (65.16% vs 61.89%). Use of vaccine acceptance tools were associated with a statistically significant increase in vaccination (24.1% vs 13.6%, P = 0.036) in unvaccinated veterans. DISCUSSION: A population health approach to vaccine acceptance using EHR-based tools can impact vaccination rates, and this approach may be of practical utility to other large healthcare systems with EHR.

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