5124.0: Wednesday, November 15, 2000 - 1:25 PM

Abstract #7246

Perceived vs. actual costs of an immunization registry

Verna B. McKenna, MA1, Alan Sager, PhD2, Julia E. Gunn, RN, MPH1, Pat Tormey, RN, MPH1, Ruchika Bajaj, BS1, and M. Anita Barry, MD, MPH1. (1) Communicable Disease Control, Boston Public Health Commission, 1010 Massashusetts Ave, 2nd Floor, Boston, MA 02118, 617-534-5607, verna_mckenna@bphc.org, (2) Health Services, Boston University,School of Public Health, 715 Albany St, Boston, MA 02118

Background: Electronic immunization registries have been introduced to improve immunization rates among children. However, provider acceptance of registries has been variable.

Objectives: To explore differences between providers' perceptions and measured costs of entering data into the Boston Immunization Information System (BIIS), a citywide electronic registry, tracking and recall system introduced in 1993.

Methods: Three different methods were used to measure cost at 23 BIIS sites.1) Structured interviews with clerks and supervisors estimated the number of hours required to enter data into BIIS 2) Directly measured time per task and frequency of task performance 3) The number of maximum potential immunizations a child should receive by age two multiplied by the number of children < 24 months of age in each site's BIIS database in 1998.

Results: Providers perceived a total cost of entering data in 1998 of $227,191. This cost was almost sixfold higher than cost estimates based on time and motion studies ($40,445) or on the number of immunizations required using the childhood immunization schedule ($39,502). The latter two cost estimates, derived using different methods, were comparable.

Conclusions: Although data entry represents a significant cost for immunization registries, providers markedly overestimate resources needed. Because perceived high cost is likely to present a significant barrier to provider acceptance of registries, methods to ensure that registries are user friendly and cost-effective are key.

Learning Objectives: Identify alternative methods to measure costs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA