OBJECTIVE: Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine coverage in the United States remains low compared with other adolescent vaccines. As the largest primary care network in the United States, safety net clinics such as federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) serve patients at a disproportionate risk of HPV-related cancers. In this pilot project, the American Cancer Society (ACS) leveraged its primary care workforce to implement quality improvement interventions in the unique context of 30 FQHC systems across the country, including 130 clinic sites reaching >20,000 adolescents in a variety of geographic settings.
METHODS: FQHC systems were randomly selected to receive either a $90,000 2-year grant, a $10,000 3-month grant, or training and technical assistance without funding. All 3 intervention groups conducted provider training and education, completed a capacity assessment tool, and measured HPV vaccination rates. Annual HPV vaccine series initiation and completion rates for active, 11- to 12-year-old patients were measured to evaluate project outcomes.
RESULTS: HPV vaccine series initiation rates among 11- to 12-year-old patients increased by 14.6 percentage points from a baseline of 41.2% before the intervention (2014) to the intervention year (2015). Changes in HPV second dose and series completion rates were not statistically significant. Meningococcal and tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis vaccination rates also increased significantly, by 13.9 and 9.9 percentage points from baseline rates of 49.1% and 52.5%, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: The first year of this pilot project showed early success, particularly with HPV vaccine series initiation. On the basis of these promising results, ACS is expanding clinical quality improvement projects to increase HPV vaccination across the country.