Recording vaccine data accurately can be problematic in medical documentation, including blank and inaccurate records. Vaccine two-dimensional (2D) barcode scanning has shown promise, yet scanner use to record vaccine data is limited. We sought to identify strategies to improve scanning rates and assess changes in accuracy.
Between January and June 2017, 27 pilot sites within a large health system were assigned to one of four groups to test strategies to maximize scanner use: training only, commitment card, scanning report, or combination. Seventy-two thousand vaccine records were assessed for completeness, accuracy, and scanning.
Significant increases in vaccinator scanning rates found with commitment card and scanning report inclusion (alone and paired) compared with the training-only group. Record completeness and accuracy significantly improved with use of scanning. When manually entered, about 1 in 9 records had a missing or inaccurate expiration date; when scanned, this dropped to 1 in 5,000.
Pilot findings indicate 2D scanning has the potential to eliminate most omissions and inaccuracies in vaccine records. Such data are critical during a recall or need to trace specific vaccines or patients.
Consistent use and expanded adoption of 2D scanning can meaningfully improve the quality of vaccine records and clinical practices.