Trenton, NJ – The New Jersey Chapter of the American College of Physicians (ACP-NJ) was honored with the John Tooker Evergreen Award by American College of Physicians. Presented annually by the American College of Physicians, the John Tooker Evergreen Awards Program provides recognition and visibility to chapters that have successfully implemented programs to increase membership, improve communication, increase member involvement, enhance diversity, foster careers in internal medicine and improve management of the chapter.
ACP-NJ, which represents the interests of internists throughout the state, received the award in recognition for its participation and success in “I Raise the Rates,” a quality improvement program designed to raise immunization rates of adults across the state.
According to research, only 28.5 percent of adults in New Jersey have been immunized against pneumococcal disease, ranking the state in 43rd place among the 50 states. A report from Trust for America’s Health shows only 14 percent of adults received vaccination for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap) and only 20 percent of adults over 60 received the shingles vaccine.
To combat these findings, ACP-NJ partnered with physician champions, academic health systems, other health care providers and two of the major health insurers in New Jersey, as well as the New Jersey Immunization Network (NJIN), the New Jersey Immunization Information System (NJIIS), the NJ State Department of Health and the New Jersey Chapter of the American Academy of Family Physicians (NJAFP) to increase vaccination rates for pneumococcal disease, influenza and Tdap.
ACP-NJ and NJAFP worked in collaboration to push out communications, best practices and educational information to the partners and participating physician practices who were actively working to increase the immunizations rates in their practices. By the completion of the program, participating practices saw significant increases in immunizations – demonstrating the success of the “I Raise the Rates” program. In one participating practice, Tdap immunization improved from under 10 percent to 38 percent, while a second practice immunized more than 50 percent of their patient population for the flu in one month.