Summit Medical Group Improves Childhood Immunization Rates

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Quality Improvement Program at Summit Medical Group increases average childhood immunization rate among its pediatric patients to 97%.

Our current immunization rates compare favorably with the national immunization average of 66% that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published in 2010

A proactive process at Summit Medical Group has increased the average immunization completion rate among pediatric patients from 84% in 2008 to 97% in 2010.

“Our current immunization rates compare favorably with the national immunization average of 66% that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published in 2010,” says Summit Medical Group pediatrician Michelle Bender, M.D., F.A.A.P. “The data from our program suggest that parents and patients need a helping hand in knowing about and remembering when to take action for even the most important preventive measures with their children. As partners in our patients’ and their families’ health," adds Dr. Bender, "we’re happy to do what’s necessary to ensure they achieve their health goals.”

In 2008, Summit Medical Group initiated a Quality Improvement Immunization Program to increase childhood immunizations among its pediatric patients. Following Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention guidelines for childhood immunizations, the Group reviewed electronic medical records for children age 24 months or younger* to determine which patients had not received some or all of their immunizations. Simultaneously, pediatricians began checking each of their patients’ immunization records at the time of their appointments to ensure they were up to date.Once they had a list of patients with outstanding immunizations, SMG pediatricians called and scheduled appointments to update their patients on recommended vaccines.

In addition to tracking and reminders, the SMG immunization program includes a Pediatric Vaccine Update Card to make it easy for physicians and their staff to track immunizations. Dr. Bender says the Group will further increase the numbers of children who are vaccinated by continuing to evaluate its pediatricians’ performance every 2 months and comparing SMG childhood immunization data with CDC benchmarks.

“Pediatricians at Summit Medical Group are enthusiastic about our program to improve childhood immunization completion rates,” says Summit Medical Group Chief Medical Officer Robert W. Brenner, M.D., M.M.M. “Our pediatricians believe childhood immunizations are as important for the health of each child they treat as they are for the community at large. For this reason, they’re committed to continuing the program and are eager to see the data on and improve their performance.”

The positive results from the Quality Improvement Immunization Program support SMG’s belief in the importance of having a patient registry and uniform vaccine policy. Dr. Bender notes, “We'll continue to improve the quality of care we deliver at SMG overall by using programs such as this to evaluate our performance.”

According to the CDC, all children age 35 months* or younger should be immunized for:

Diptheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTaP)
Inactivated polio vaccine (IPV)
Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR)
Haemophilus influenza type B (HIB)
Hepatitis B

*The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently revised its guidelines to include children age 35 months and younger.


Summit Medical Group (SMG) is the largest privately held multispecialty medical practice in New Jersey. SMG has pioneered information technology advances in health care with its early adoption of electronic health records and e-prescribing. With more than 200 highly qualified providers, it serves as a unique and exemplary health care model for the state. SMG treats more than 55,000 patients per month at its main campus in Berkeley Heights as well as its satellites in Berkeley Heights, Morristown, Millburn, Shorts Hills, Summit, Warren, and Westfield. As one of the East Coast's premier multispecialty groups, SMG has provided exceptional primary and specialty care since 1929. For more information, please visit

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Maureen Bennett
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