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Systematic effort helps hospital raise employee flu vaccination rates
Date:5/4/2011

A systematic effort to improve flu vaccination rates for healthcare workers has increased flu vaccinations rates from 59 percent to 77 percent at the University Health System (UHS) in San Antonio. A report detailing their interventions to increase vaccination was published in the June issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

UHS raised its healthcare worker vaccination rate from 59 percent in 2009 to 77 percent in 2010 through quality improvement tools including vaccine kits to individual units, Grand Round presentations, enhanced staff awareness and a dashboard of vaccination rates of each program was promoted on the staff intranet. The increase places the UHS well above national average for healthcare worker vaccination, which tends to hover below 50 percent.

The vaccination push was spearheaded by a quality improvement team with a goal of reaching a vaccination rate of 80 percent. The team developed a list of possible reasons for low immunization rates, and created a set of interventions to combat them.

Under the improvement program, a vaccination kit was provided to each hospital unit so workers could take it without leaving their work area. Multiple educational conferences on the importance of vaccination were held, and a flu information website and blog were added to the health system's website. Hospital newsletters featured articles about immunization, including photographs of hospital leaders being vaccinated. The vaccination campaign was also promoted on telephone hold messages and computer screen savers. To monitor progress, vaccination rates by unit were sent to unit directors weekly and were available to all employees on the website.

"The quality improvement tools and techniques the team used led to a significant improvement of the vaccination rate," said Dr. Jose Cadena, a member of the team and an author of the journal report. "O
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Contact: Tamara Moore
tmoore@gymr.com
202-745-5114
Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America
Source:Eurekalert

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