MMWR News Synopsis for October 16, 2014
Vaccination Coverage Among Children in Kindergarten — United States, 2013–14 School Year
CDC Media Relations
When parents, schools, health departments, communities, and healthcare professionals work together to maintain high vaccination coverage among school-age children, they provide critical protection against serious diseases that can quickly spread through schools if children are unvaccinated. Each year, CDC gathers data about vaccination coverage and vaccine exemption rates among children in kindergarten. These data show that most kindergarten students across the United States are up-to-date on their required vaccinations. State and local vaccine requirements for school entry are established to keep vaccine coverage high and to help protect schoolchildren from vaccine-preventable diseases. This year, most states reported their vaccination coverage was at or near the Healthy People 2020 target of 95%. The median exemption rate was 1.8%. Even though we know that vaccine coverage is high, there are clusters of children in communities that have low vaccine rates and high exemption levels. This puts those children at risk for catching and spreading vaccine-preventable diseases.
Increases in Smoking Cessation Interventions After an Improvement Initiative Using Electronic Health Records — 19 Community Health Centers, New York City, 2010–2012
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH)
Electronic health records have the potential to make it easier for health care providers to screen for and document tobacco use and to intervene with patients who use tobacco products. In addition, patient lists generated by an electronic health record system can offer timely feedback to providers and can also be used to identify issues where improvement is needed. Most smokers want to quit and make at least one medical visit each year. Documenting smoking status and intervening with smokers in health care settings increases quit rates, but many providers and practices do not routinely take these actions. An electronic-health-record-based pay-for-improvement initiative conducted in 19 Community Health Centers in New York City during October 2010 through March 2012 sought to increase smoking-status documentation and cessation interventions. At the end of the initiative, the mean proportion of patients who were documented as smokers had increased from 24% to 27% while the mean proportion of documented smokers who received a cessation intervention increased from 23% to 54%.