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Outreach Messages Up Well-Child Visits, Vaccination Completion

Rates of scheduling and completion of well-child visits increased regardless of whether messages were standard or tailored

By Lori Solomon HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Nov. 22, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Outreach messages delivered via electronic health record patient portals increase the rates of scheduling and completing well-child visits and receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a study published online Nov. 18 in JAMA Network Open.

Anne E. Berset, from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and colleagues examined the effectiveness of patient portal outreach messages, with and without the date of the last well-child care, on the scheduling and completion of well-child visits and completion of vaccinations within two weeks. The analysis included 945 participants randomly assigned to the standard message, tailored message, or no message (control) groups.

The researchers found that scheduling rates were 18.4 percent in the standard message group (adjusted risk ratio [aRR], 1.97) and 14.9 percent in the tailored message group (aRR, 1.57) versus the control group (9.5 percent). Similarly, well-child care visit completion rates were higher in the standard message group (aRR, 1.92) and tailored message group (aRR, 1.52) versus the control group. Rates of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine among eligible children were 16.7 percent in the standard message group versus 4.8 percent in the tailored message group (aRR, 3.41) and 3.7 percent in the control group (aRR, 4.84).

“Additional efforts are needed to reengage at-risk populations and recover preventive services missed during the pandemic,” the authors write.

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