• Improving Influenza Vaccination Rates in Inpatient Pediatrics

      Hoffer, Amy; McComiskey, Carmel A. (2021-05)
      Problem: This quality improvement project was implemented on an inpatient pediatric unit at an urban academic medical center whose rate of influenza vaccination prior to discharge was only 39% of eligible patients. This gap in vaccination is not unique to this unit and morbidity and mortality of influenza is high despite widespread availability of a vaccine and the recommendation that all children over six months of age receive the vaccine. Purpose: The purpose of this project was to increase vaccination rates by providing education and rescreening prior to discharge. Methods. The electronic health record (EHR) was modified to populate a prompt to the nursing task list for every patient who initially refuse the flu vaccine. Bedside nurses then provided education to all patients and parents who refused. They documented this education and asked the parents if they would reconsider vaccinating prior to discharge. The outcome measures of this project included improving EHR nursing documentation of education and rescreening and increasing vaccination rates prior to discharge. Results: Of patients whose caregiver refused the flu vaccine on admission, 61% received the intervention and 27% of these caregivers reconsidered and decided to vaccinate. The vaccination rate of eligible patients prior to discharge for this unit increased from 39% to 60%. Conclusion: Optimizing the use of the EHR to automatically remind nurses to provide education and additional vaccination opportunity can increase vaccination rates. This unit’s improvement in vaccination rates and the number of caregivers who received the intervention and subsequently agreed to vaccinate demonstrates that this is a valuable tool if there is otherwise no process in place to prioritize vaccination. This intervention can be easily modified to be used in other patient populations and for other vaccinations.