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2004-2005 Influenza Vaccination Update: High Priority Groups

MSU HealthTeam EMR Form and Workflow:
Influenza Vaccination for High Priority Groups


On October 5, 2004, British regulators halted Chiron Corporation’s planned release of 46 million doses of influenza vaccine intended for the US market, citing manufacturing problems. This represents nearly half of the 100 million doses of flu vaccine intended for the US market for the 2004-2005 flu season. As a result, the CDC and other government officials appealed for voluntary rationing of vaccine by limiting administration to “high priority groups.”

MSU Response

To help MSU HealthTeam physicians comply with this recommendation and document appropriate influenza vaccine use, the EMR project team modified our Centricity Physician Office EMR “ Flu Vax” (influenza) form to include check boxes to enable identification and documentation of each CDC-defined high priority group. The form has been changed to include a "Priority Group" tab at the beginning of the influenza form.

High Priority Groups

The CDC recommends that the following high priority groups of individuals be immunized:

  • People 65 years of age and older
  • Children ages 6 months to 23 months
  • Household members and out-of-home caregivers of infants under the age of 6 months (Infants under the age of 6 months cannot be vaccinated.)
  • Pregnant women
  • Children and teenagers, 6 months to 18 years of age, who take aspirin daily
  • Adults and children 2 years of age and older with:
    • Chronic pulmonary disease (e.g., asthma, emphysema)
    • Chronic cardiovascular disease (e.g., congestive heart failure)
    • Chronic metabolic diseases (e.g., diabetes mellitus)
    • Renal dysfunction
    • Hemoglobinopathies (e.g., sickle cell anemia)
    • weakened immune systems (e.g., medications, HIV/AIDS)
  • Residents of nursing homes and other chronic-care facilities
  • Healthcare workers who provide direct, hands-on care to patients

Form Testing

The new form has been tested in over 100 patients and appears to function as intended, so MSU would like to make it available to GE Healthcare to freely distribute to its Centricity Physician Office EMR customer base as soon as possible. We hope this will help Centricity Physician Office EMR users take a lead role in ensuring that high priority patients receive their influenza vaccinations, while making it easier to identify those patients who are not in the high priority group, and for whom immunization must be deferred until the national vaccine shortage is resolved.

How The Form Works

  • When either the flu shot encounter type or influenza form is selected, the following prompt will appear if the patient meets the age criteria for the flu vaccine.

  • A “Yes” response to the question will automatically populate the appropriate age priority question on the form (see Example 1 below).
  • If the patient does not meet the age criteria, the "Priority Group" tab of the Influenza form will appear (see Example 2 below) and a yellow-highlighted alert prompt will be displayed. At least one of the check boxes should be marked to document the high-priority indication for giving the patient influenza vaccine .

 Example 1


Example 2

For Additional Information

  • Help using the form: (517) 353-0817

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Michael Zaroukian , MD, PhD
EMR Medical Director
Last updated: October 13, 2004

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High priority groups

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