Why it Matters

Many young people are infected with human papillomavirus (HPV) during their lives. HPV often has no symptoms until later in life and there is no cure. The virus can cause serious diseases, including cervical, anal, head and neck cancers, and genital warts. Yet, HPV infections could be prevented with the HPV vaccine.

“Did you know that HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the US? About 1 in every 4 people is infected at any given time.”

Why HPV vaccine?

The HPV vaccine is effective at preventing many infections from the virus. That’s why our country has set a Healthy People 2020 goal to vaccinate at least 80% of adolescents against HPV. Unfortunately, we are nowhere close to achieving this goal. One of the main reasons is that providers are not recommending the vaccine. As a result, we may be facing thousands of cases of cancer that could have been prevented.

That can change. HPV IQ provides evidence-based tools for partnering with primary care providers to improve HPV vaccination rates. Working together, we can make sure that today’s young people are protected from future HPV-related cancers.

What is immunization quality improvement?

Immunization quality improvement is a systematic approach to improving how vaccines are delivered. Key features include:

  • A focus on team process

    Vaccine delivery requires the coordination of many members of the healthcare team. Immunization quality improvement seeks to improve the way that different providers work together to get the job done.

  • A flexible, assets-based approach

    Recognizing and building on the unique strengths of each healthcare team is critical to overcoming barriers to vaccine delivery. Rather than prescribed solutions, the idea is to equip providers with the tools they need to evaluate current practice, set goals for improvement, and use data to measure success.

  • Ongoing commitment

    Because the recommended immunization schedule is dynamic and complex, immunization quality improvement is not a one-time event. Providers are always striving to improve their practice, and our tools can help.

Which strategies are evidence-based?

  • Research shows that using an “assessment and feedback” strategy can improve vaccination delivery. When providers are given an assessment of their current vaccination coverage, along with achievable goals, coverage improves.
  • Other research shows that when providers receive training on how to effectively talk about HPV vaccination, parents are more likely to accept on-time vaccination for their adolescents.

Using both of these strategies, either on their own or in combination, has the potential to make a big impact on reaching the Healthy People 2020 goal for HPV vaccination.

Want to know more about our research? Click here for the Evidence Base.