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OBJECTIVE: Fewer than 40% of U.S. children complete the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine series before their 13th birthday. In our large pediatric primary care network, HPV vaccine completion rate by age 13 was 30%. We hypothesized that a phased quality improvement (QI) initiative would increase rates of HPV vaccine completion by age 13 across our network.
METHODS: This QI initiative was conducted in a network of 30 practices located across two states, in urban and suburban settings, consisting of teaching and non-teaching clinics, and ranging in size from three to 50 providers per office. We used a phased approach incorporating multicomponent network-wide and iterative practice-specific interventions. Key interventions included: updating clinical decision support to default order HPV vaccine due at preventive visits starting at age nine instead of 11, data audit and feedback to providers and practices, encouraging use of a strong provider recommendation, and standing orders.
RESULTS: From April 2019 to October 2022, HPV vaccine completion by age 13 across our network increased from 30% to 55% and met criteria for special cause variation on statistical process control charts. A gap in median HPV vaccine completion by age 13 between patients with public insurance and patients with private or commercial insurance decreased from 9% to 1%.
CONCLUSION: A QI initiative was associated with a sustained increase in HPV vaccine series completion by age 13 and reduced variation in care across a large network of 30 primary care practices.