To assess the availability and use of Washington State's CHILD (Children's Health, Immunization, Linkages, and Development) Profile and other computerized immunization tracking systems, to determine physicians' attitudes about these systems, and to identify factors associated with using them.
Randomized, population-based, cross-sectional survey.
Washington family physician and pediatrician specialty organization members providing childhood immunizations in 1998 (N = 2472).
Main Outcome Measure
Reported CHILD Profile and other computerized systems use.
The adjusted response rate was 75% (n = 1331). Overall, 37.7% of respondents had heard of CHILD Profile, 6.3% used it, and 24.9% used other systems. Groups significantly more likely not to use computerized systems than referent pediatricians in areas fully implementing CHILD Profile were family physicians (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 2.4; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.4-4.0), private physicians (aOR, 8.0; 95% CI, 3.2-20.1), physicians taking fewest opportunities to immunize (aOR, 2.3; 95% CI, 1.4-3.7), and physicians practicing in local health jurisdiction areas with CHILD Profile marketing activity (aOR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.2-3.9) or in those areas with little or no registry activity (aOR, 2.6; 95% CI, 1.6-4.4). Those with systems agreed that they save time (71.0%), make status checks easier (87.1%), and increase immunization coverage (88.6%). Those without systems agreed that they help practices (90.3%) and increase efficiency (76.5%), but fewer agreed that they reduce costs (30.2%).
Although most physicians agreed that computerized systems are useful, few had them or used them. Provider-based systems can improve immunization coverage, but the feasibility and effectiveness of communitywide and statewide systems remain unexplored. Because these systems depend on participation, more understanding is needed to help organizations implement them. Interventions to increase availability and use should address provider and health organization needs.