Dissemination research examines the processes and factors that lead to widespread use of evidence-based interventions. There are several theories on how to best minimize the perceived and actual burdens on practitioners associated with implementing evidence-based medicine. For instance, the pay for performance model attempts to improve physician compliance with quality guidelines by providing financial incentives. Recent studies suggest pay for performance is effective in improving practitioner performance, but it is unclear whether the gains are sustainable once incentives are stopped.
Another approach to promoting best practices is the Model for Improvement whose main method is to employ Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycles of small changes Although this approach has been successful within individual institutions, there is minimal evidence of its effect when employed simultaneously in multiple autonomous institutions. There is also little evidence of the sustainability of outcomes after intervention activities end.
The specific aims of the proposed study are to examine the effect of quality improvement dissemination models on the immunization coverage of children ages 3 to 18 months old. The investigators propose to:
1. Determine the effect on immunization compliance of two different models of dissemination which will provide physicians 12 months of quality improvement (QI) activity support for implementing CDC immunization best practices.
Hypothesis 1a: Study participants receiving the QI technical support intervention (QITS) will have more improvement in immunization rates from baseline to immediately after support ends than participants receiving the pay for performance intervention (P4P).
Hypothesis 1b: Study participants receiving QITS will increase immunization coverage for their practices over baseline.
Hypothesis 1c: Study participants receiving P4P will increase immunization coverage for their practices over baseline.