National Infant immunization Week — April 23-30
For Immediate Release: April 27, 2011
Media Contact: Communication Office
Vermont Department of Health
BENNINGTON – In an era of technology where electronic medical records are instantly accessible to health care providers with the click of a mouse, the nurses at Green Mountain Pediatrics also prefer to do things the old-fashioned way.
Both nurses at the busy practice, which has more than 1,000 regular patients from the Bennington area, use an electronic patient record system – but they also have mailboxes. A hard-copy chart for any patient who needs to be called in to complete their full series of recommended vaccinations is placed in the mailbox.
“I need it to be in my face,” said Jodi Beaudoin, RN. “Our computer works, but unless my mailbox is empty, I know there is stuff I still have to do.”
Perhaps as a result, Green Mountain Pediatrics has achieved a 97 percent childhood vaccination rate among its patients, the highest in the state.
Judy Orton, MD, says she feels strongly about children being fully vaccinated because of the community-wide benefits that result.
“Everyone being vaccinated helps protect those kids not old enough to be fully vaccinated, those medically unable to be vaccinated, and older kids who are more at risk when they’re exposed,” Dr. Orton said.
Vaccines for young children now protect against 14 serious diseases: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), hepatitis B, polio, Hib (haemophilus influenzae type B), varicella (chickenpox), measles, mumps, rubella, pneumococcal disease, hepatitis A, rotovirus and influenza.
“We are dedicated to getting patients vaccinated,” Beaudoin said. “As a general rule in accepting prenatal patients, it’s very important that they understand we believe very strongly in vaccination.
“Making sure appointments for vaccinations are filled requires checks, double-checks, calls and recalls,” Beaudoin said.
“The charts for kids who need to get vaccinated – they stay in the mailbox until the kid comes back in,” she said. “And I like to see a clean mailbox!”
Vaccinate for Life is a statewide effort to provide the most accurate information about the importance and safety of vaccines, and to protect both children and adults from vaccine-preventable diseases. If you have questions about vaccinations, ask your health care provider, check the Vermont Department of Health’s website healthvermont.gov our new Facebook page ‘Healthy Vermont Families’, follow us on Twitter, or call our immunization program toll-free at 1-800-640-4374.