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Clinical Nudge Impact on Herpes Zoster Vaccine Series Completion in Pharmacies

      Introduction

      A new recombinant herpes zoster vaccine has advanced efforts to prevent shingles, but its multidose regimen introduces potential barriers to full protection that must be managed by community pharmacies. To address this potential patient management challenge, a pharmacy records clinical support tool was implemented to assist pharmacy staff in managing herpes zoster vaccine dose completion.

      Methods

      Beginning in November 2018, a large community pharmacy chain (operating in 36 states) implemented a provider nudge within its clinical decision support tool across all locations that fit seamlessly into the existing workflow, alerting the pharmacy staff of the need for a patient's second dose. Initial and second doses were followed over 2 overlapping, 10-month periods before and after system launch. Differences in vaccine completion rates before and after the system was operational were assessed by chi-square tests and predictors of completion, controlling for store- and patient-level characteristics, and were analyzed by multivariable logistic regression and generalized linear models throughout 2021.

      Results

      Across 2,271 pharmacies, 71,459 and 41,982 initial doses of the herpes zoster vaccine were given in the baseline and intervention period, respectively. The proportion of patients completing both doses increased slightly after system implementation (before: 71.9%, after: 75.2%; p<0.0001). However, dramatic improvements in time to dose completion were observed (before: 109.8 days, after: 93.3 days; p<0.001), and changes were significant in stores in all but 4 states.

      Conclusions

      Results suggest that the use of a clinical nudge improved the occurrence of and time to herpes zoster vaccine dose completion in adults across the U.S.
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