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Increasing Appropriate Vaccination: Provider Reminders

Provider reminder interventions inform those who administer vaccinations that individual clients are due for specific vaccinations. Techniques by which reminders are delivered vary, but can include notes prepared in advance and posted in client charts, alerts in electronic medical records, and letters sent by mail.

Summary of Task Force Recommendations and Findings

The Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends provider reminder interventions based on strong evidence of effectiveness in improving vaccination coverage:

  • In adults, adolescents, and children
  • When used alone or with additional components
  • Across a range of intervention characteristics (e.g., computerized or simple reminders, checklists or flowcharts)
  • In a range of settings and populations

Read the full Task Force Finding and Rationale Statement for details including implementation issues, possible added benefits, potential harms, and evidence gaps.

Results of the Original and Updated Systematic Reviews

The Task Force finding is based on evidence from a Community Guide systematic review published in 2000 (search period 1980-1997) combined with more recent evidence (search period 1997-2009). The systematic review was conducted on behalf of the Task Force by a team of specialists in systematic review methods, and in research, practice, and policy related to increasing appropriate vaccination. This finding updates and replaces the previous Task Force finding on Provider Reminders (read the evidence review and Task Force finding in our library).

Previous Review (search period 1980–1997)

Twenty-nine intervention studies qualified for the systematic review.

Updated Evidence (search period 1997–2007)

Nineteen additional studies were identified in the search period considered in this update. Of these, 15 studies provided common measurements of change in vaccination rates or coverage.

  • Median increase in vaccination coverage:
    • Overall: 10 percentage points (15 studies)
    • Provider reminders alone: 12 percentage points (5 studies)
    • Provider reminders with additional components: 10 percentage points (10 studies)
  • Reviewed studies evaluated the effectiveness of provider reminders in a range of different client and provider populations, healthcare settings, and for different vaccines.

Publication Status

Full peer-reviewed articles of this systematic review will be posted on the Community Guide website when published. Subscribe External Web Site Icon to be notified when we post these publications or other materials. See our library for previous Community Guide publications on this and other topics.



The findings and conclusions on this page are those of the Community Preventive Services Task Force and do not necessarily represent those of CDC. Task Force evidence-based recommendations are not mandates for compliance or spending. Instead, they provide information and options for decision makers and stakeholders to consider when determining which programs, services, and policies best meet the needs, preferences, available resources, and constraints of their constituents.

Sample Citation

The content of publications of the Guide to Community Preventive Services is in the public domain. Citation as to source, however, is appreciated. Sample citation: Guide to Community Preventive Services. Increasing appropriate vaccination: provider reminders. Last updated: MM/DD/YYYY.

Review completed: June 2008