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Improving the Rates of Inpatient Pneumococcal Vaccination: Impact of Standing Orders Versus Computerized Reminders to Physicians

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2015

Christina M. Coyle*
Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Jacobi Medical Center, Bronx, New York
Brian P. Currie
Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, New York
Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Jacobi Medical Center, Room 3 NY, 1400 Pelham Parkway South and Eastchester Road, Bronx, NY 10461



To determine the impact of interventions using standing orders and computerized reminders to physicians on inpatient pneumococcal vaccination rates relative to a control group.


Open trial of the following approaches, each on a different ward: (1) standing orders for vaccination of eligible consenting patients, (2) computerized reminders to physicians, and (3) usual practice.

Setting And Patients:

Four hundred twenty-four patients were admitted to three 30-bed inpatient medical wards during a 4-month period in 1999 at one hospital. Unvaccinated patients 65 years or older and competent to give oral consent were included.


A pharmacist activated a standing orders protocol for vaccination of all eligible consenting patients on one ward and computerized reminders to physicians on a second ward. A third ward served as a control group.


Forty-two patients met inclusion criteria and accepted vaccination in the standing orders arm versus 35 patients in the computerized reminder arm. Vaccination rates on the standing orders ward included 98% of those eligible and accepting vaccination, 73% of eligible patients, and 28% of all patients admitted. Rates on the computerized reminder ward were 23%, 15%, and 7%, respectively. All of the rates from the standing orders ward were significantly greater than those from the computerized reminder ward (P < .0001). Only 0.6% of all patients on the control arm were vaccinated.


Although both interventions were effective in increasing inpatient pneumococcal vaccination rates relative to baseline practice, physician independent initiation of standing orders was clearly more effective.

Original Articles
Copyright © The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America 2004

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