A reexamination of the feasibility of the administration of routine childhood vaccines in emergency departments in the era of electronic vaccine registries

Jennifer J. Olson, Mark S. Mannenbach, Brian R. Moore, Vernon D. Smith, Julia A. Rosekrans, Robert M. Jacobson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objectives: To determine if electronic vaccine records facilitate successful routine childhood vaccination in the emergency department (ED). Methods: We sampled consecutively over 2 calendar months children younger than 24 months presenting to the ED. Parents and legal guardians of eligible children were offered enrollment. Those consenting completed a parental survey after a nurse conducted an initial assessment of eligibility. Attending physicians then completed the assessment, and after the visit, the electronic vaccination records, when available, were accessed. No actual routine childhood vaccines were given during the study. Results: Three hundred thirty-four were approached: 17 (5.1%) declined participation; 10 (3.0%) were enrolled, but the data were lost, and 7 (2.1%) were excluded. Of the 300 remaining, 235 (78.3%) had available electronic vaccine records. Only 38 (16.2%) of the 235 were late for at least 1 vaccine. Of note, physicians assessed 22 (57.9%) of the 38 as medically appropriate for vaccination in the ED. The overwhelming majority (81.8%) of the 22 parents and guardians would have assented to vaccination in the ED. Of the 38 patients found late for vaccination, 31 (81.6%) of parents incorrectly reported their children to be up-to-date on their immunizations. Conclusions: Assuming that the electronic vaccination record performed such as an online vaccine registry, the effort to access the registry might find a substantial number of children late for a routine childhood vaccination. In this setting, we found that approximately one sixth of the children with electronic vaccine records would be found late for vaccination, and based on physician assessment and parental survey, one half of those children would receive that vaccination if available in the ED. These rates offer health care planners a sense of the magnitude of the vaccination rates in the ED as we move toward regional vaccination registries with online capabilities to be accessed by EDs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)565-567
Number of pages3
JournalPediatric Emergency Care
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2005


  • Computer communication networks
  • Computerized
  • Emergency medical services
  • Information systems
  • Medical records systems
  • Vaccination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Emergency Medicine


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