INTRODUCTION: Electronic records have been widely introduced into clinical practice. The aim of the present study was to determine whether using a mandatory field in an electronic health record would improve compliance with an important quality indicator, namely antenatal pertussis vaccination.
METHODS: Two cohorts of women who delivered at Centenary Hospital for Women and Children between 1 to 31 July 2015 and 1 to 31 July 2017 were compared for compliance with the quality indicator of antenatal pertussis vaccination. The single point of difference between time points was programming the electronic record so the clinician could not close the patients file unless they inserted an answer into the box asking whether pertussis vaccination had been performed or declined. Data was audited and percentage compliance rates were compared.
RESULTS: A total of 275 and 299 women delivered in the two audit periods. There were no significant differences in maternal or neonatal characteristics between the two audited periods except for maternal age, which was younger in the second period (33.3 years versus 31.5 years p=0.001). Vaccination rates almost doubled between audit periods (52.7% versus 91.4% p<0.0001).
CONCLUSION: Introducing an electronic prompt or mandatory field into an electronic health record may increase compliance with steps considered best practice in maternity care.