Vaccination Information and Reminder System - because babies do not come with instructions
Engaging parents in vaccinating their babies through an early education and reminder system that helps them remember to vaccinate
Describe what you intend to do and how you'll do it in one to two sentences (required 350 Characters)
The Alliance aims to increase immunization rates of toddlers in Merced, California by providing a vaccine reminder device and smart phone application to pregnant women during their prenatal visits and providing an opportunity for the provider to educate and reinforce the benefits of vaccinating their baby.
Explain the innovation (2,500 characters)
In Merced County, California, one of three counties served by our MCO, vaccination coverage rates have consistently lagged behind the other two by a wide margin. A trend of decreasing immunization rates in Merced has emerged over the last few years. In 2018, the percentage of 0-2 year-olds in Merced who were fully vaccinated was just over 63%, compared to 79.8% in the other two service area counties. As a result of this trend, we undertook activities to better understand the barriers to immunization experienced by members living in this rural county and to develop a creative solution to help address the needs of our most vulnerable members.
Results of patient surveys indicate that mothers are not receiving vaccine information/education and lack awareness of when vaccines are due or that they forget to attend their child’s routine appointments during which vaccinations are typically received. With this in mind, we focused our efforts on creating a solution to improve awareness and practical knowledge around vaccination to increase immunization rates in Merced County. Using the information gathered through member outreach, we devised a solution that employs a comprehensive system starting with prenatal providers educating expecting parents on the importance of vaccinations. Evidence suggests that provider recommendation is the strongest predictor of getting vaccinated; therefore, allowing this time for dispelling misinformation/addressing concerns or to gain a better understanding of what to expect after birth may improve immunization rates for 0-2 year-olds. At home, parents will also have a magnetic device that may be attached to a refrigerator or other metal surface and will provide a visual cue by changing color whenever the child is due for vaccines and/or routine well-child visits.
The concept was piloted and we received feedback from 19 individuals. A majority of mothers claimed they did not receive information or education about vaccinating their baby. During our conversations they discussed wanting more education about vaccines, why they are needed, and when and how frequently they need to be given. Although many of the new moms had their first visit to the pediatrician scheduled at the hospital, about 30% of them had to schedule these visits on their own. A majority of moms said reminders for when vaccines are due would be helpful and about half of them said the visual cue provided by the magnet would motivate them to schedule an appointment.
Which part(s) of the world does this innovation target?
North America, United States, California, Merced County - Our Rural Neighbors
Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)
We have relationships with Merced county hospitals, public health department, local immunization coalition, and local immunization registry organization, whose partnerships will be integral in executing this idea. Except for the hospital, these entities have all been actively engaged as part of the local immunization coalition to improve immunizations in Merced. We do not foresee challenges in facilitating these relationships further. Identification of an engineering and product development group to design and create our simple, low-tech notification device will be dependent on appropriate funding. Given our proximity to innovative technology organizations in the Silicon Valley, barriers are not anticipated.
How is your idea unique? (750 characters)
Our solution is simple. We encourage prenatal care providers to start the conversation about the importance of vaccinations early so our parents can make an informed decision. Our idea also addresses social determinants of health challenges faced by our members that education alone may not always resolve. We utilize a variety of resources (e.g., notification technology, targeted solutions to personal barriers, and access to local resources) to minimize missed vaccination opportunities. Finally, we have a unique advantage in the existing relationships with other providers and organizations in the healthcare system and community to coordinate the care of our members. If successful, this program can be spread to other Medicaid health plans.
What is the name of your organization
Central California Alliance for Health
Explain your organization (250 characters)
The Alliance is a non-profit Medicaid managed care health plan established to improve care for the members we serve. We continue to uphold our mission by improving the immunization rates of our members and protecting them against harmful diseases.
Type of Submitter
We are a registered NGO or Non-Profit Organization
Women’s health/rights focused organization
Disabled Persons Organization (DPO)
medicaid managed care health plan
Gender and Diversity (500 characters)
The Alliance is committed to delivering culturally and linguistically appropriate health care services to our diverse membership. Our goal is to ensure that all members regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, creed, ancestry, ethnic backgrounds, language, marital status, English proficiency, age, health status, physical or mental disability, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity, or identification with any other persons/groups all have equal access to quality healthcare.
Organization Location (less than 250 Characters)
Our team is stationed at our headquarters located in Scotts Valley, California, with the exception of one team member who works out of the office in Merced.
Size of organization (number of employees):
Scale of organizational work
Regional (reach within 1 geographic region)
Tell us more about you
Our team includes our Quality Improvement (QI) Director, two QI Managers, four QI Nurses, and four QI Analysts. We are the right team to work on this problem because:
1) Our organization and department is focused on improving immunizations within the 3 counties we serve; 2) We are active within our health care community and local immunization coalitions; 3) We are familiar with and connected to the community of practitioners that will be integral in supporting this new innovation; 4) We will play an active role in piloting and spreading the device/app/education; and above all, 5) We are passionate about improving the health of our members.