GOLDEN VALLEY HEALTH CENTERS ENHANCES CHILD IMMUNIZATION ACCESS THROUGH A NEW INITIATIVE
Golden Valley Health Centers (GVHC) proudly announces its participation in the Population Health Management Initiative, launching an innovative immunization room as its inaugural project. This initiative aims to expand vaccine access, streamline vaccination processes, and support GVHC staff to prevent burnout.
ABOUT THE POPULATION HEALTH MANAGEMENT INITIATIVE (PHMI)
This new initiative represents a collaboration aimed at advancing health equity. Partners including Community Health Centers, Regional Associations of California (RAC), California Primary Care Association (CPCA), Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), and Kaiser Permanente, are united in transforming care for Medi-Cal beneficiaries. The goal is to eliminate health disparities and enhance community health through focusing on population health management. GVHC, as part of this cohort, is committed to implementing cutting-edge health management practices.
WHY AN IMMUNIZATION ROOM?
The concept of a dedicated immunization room is not new to GVHC. It has been a long-standing goal. Recognizing the challenges in the existing setup – such as timing constraints and room availability during acute visits – GVHC identified a critical opportunity to improve vaccination rates.
In response, GVHC initiated a comprehensive analysis with its healthcare team, guided by a Population Health Management Practice Implementation Coach. Through extensive discussions and a collaborative approach involving clinic managers, supervisors, physicians, and medical assistants, the immunization room emerged as the primary choice from ten potential projects.
HOW DOES THE IMMUNIZATION ROOM WORK?
GVHC has dedicated space adjacent to its clinic specifically for administering immunizations. Staffed bynurses and medical assistants, the vaccine room ensures patients receive necessary vaccines immediately following their acute care visits, a significant enhancement over previous operations.
For instance, patients who were late for acute visits and due for vaccinations often had to reschedule, risking missed appointments. Now, they are seamlessly directed to the immunization room, eliminating the need for a return visit.
WHAT IS THE BENEFIT OF THE IMMUNIZATION ROOM?
This pilot project aims to ease the staff’s workload and increase healthcare access by expanding appointment availability. Before this initiative, balancing acute and immunization appointments was a challenge. The immunization room has streamlined this process, allowing the pediatric clinic staff to concentrate on acute care scheduling without the added pressure of administering vaccines.
GVHC anticipates a reduction in cycle time(the duration patients spend in the clinic)due to the more efficient vaccination process. Ultimately, the organization expects the immunization room to help close immunization care gaps, ensuring children receive recommended vaccines promptly.
Additionally, by facilitating vaccinations during the same day as acute visits, GVHC mitigates common barriers such as missed work or transportation challenges that families often encounter when returning for follow-up appointments.
GVHC is committed to the ongoing evaluation of the Immunization Room’s impact, with the goal of expanding this program to more GVHC pediatric clinics that provide a high volume of immunizations. The organization is also considering broadening the scope of the Immunization Room to address additional care gaps beyond vaccinations, reinforcing the ongoing dedication to comprehensive pediatric care.