The effectiveness of the flu shot in preventing viral spread in the population depends on the number of people who get vaccinated. Access Community Health Network (ACCESS), which operates 35 federally-qualified health centers across the Chicago area, was able to reach over 300,000 people who hadn’t gotten the flu shot after being the first health system to go live with Epic’s Campaigns module, increasing the number of patients who received a flu shot by nearly 6% when compared with last flu season.
Within four days of going live with Campaigns, ACCESS reached out to 96,400 patients with a reminder on their MyChart home page or in a MyChart message. Some patients also received a reminder on their after-visit care sheet. The following weeks, over 200,000 additional patients received a text message reminder. In the first month of outreach, ACCESS saw flu shots increase by nearly 10%.
After two months with Campaigns, 570 patients received their flu shot at ACCESS for the first time. Additionally, 458 patients who previously received their flu shot at ACCESS, but skipped it last year, returned to Access for their flu shot.
“During this pandemic, we must leverage our technology the best we can to stay connected with our patients now more than ever,” said ACCESS Chief Information Officer Mahomed Ouedraogo. “By implementing Epic’s Campaigns module, we are now able to effectively engage our patients in critical preventive care initiatives like annual immunizations, well visits and COVID-19 vaccines.”
Within the next several months, Access plans to:
- Remind patients with diabetes to come in for their follow-up appointments.
- Remind patients to celebrate their birthday milestones by scheduling their preventive care check-ups.
- Help new patients schedule their first appointments at their medical home.
“ACCESS has already had great success reaching a huge group of patients to get them vaccinated,” said Sam Seering, the Epic implementation lead for Access’ Campaigns project. “As one of the nation’s largest networks of federally-qualified health centers, their approach could serve as a blueprint for how to engage underserved communities in the future.”