The human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most commonly spread sexually transmitted infection in the United States. Although the HPV vaccine protects against transmission of the most common strains of HPV that cause genital warts and numerous urogenital cancers, uptake in the United States remains suboptimal. Failure to vaccinate leaves individuals vulnerable to the virus and subsequent complications of transmission. The evidence demonstrates that provider recommendation alone increases rates of vaccine uptake. The literature does not suggest a specific method for provider recommendation delivery; however, best practice alerts (BPAs) were correlated with increased vaccination rates.
These findings have directed a proposed project that includes an electronic health record (EHR) change prompting internal medicine, family practice and women’s health providers to educate and recommend the HPV vaccine at a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in the Southwest United States. The project demonstrates that after the implementation of a practice change of a HPV BPA in the EHR, HPV vaccination rates increased. Practice settings pre and post were similar, making the increase clinically significant.
The strengths of this project include an increase in HPV vaccination rates, a sustainable intervention, and an intervention that can easily be replicated into other health maintenance tasks. There were some limitations including the BPA alert only catching the HPV 9 vaccine series and the BPA did not always capturing historical data. Despite these technical barriers the HPV BPA delivered an increase in the HPV vaccine to protect more individuals from the HPV virus, increased provider adherence to national guidelines, and provides a platform for BPAs to be utilized for other vaccines.