Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Improving Influenza Vaccination Rates of Healthcare Workers at a Non-Profit Community Health Center

Debra Rosen, Public Health Programs & Services, Northeast Valley Health Corp, 531 Fifth Street, Suite D2, San Fernando, CA, USA

Learning Objectives for this Presentation:
By the end of the presentation, participants will be able to:
1. Describe the interventions utilized to improve the influenza vaccination rate at a Non-Profit Community Health Center.

Despite the documented benefits of influenza vaccination on patient outcomes, absenteeism, and reducing influenza infection among staff, vaccination coverage among HCW remains low. Northeast Valley Health Corporation (NEVHC) has implemented a variety of interventions to increase the flu vaccination rate of their employees.

NEVHC has implemented an annual campaign since 2003 to increase the immunization rate of HCW. A variety of methods have been implemented to determine the most effectiveness strategies.

Influenza clinics are scheduled at each of the NEVHC Sites and free influenza vaccinations are offered to employees. Individual incentives such as a “Bee Protected” key chain, and a “Leap to Good Health” memo holder are given to each employee when they receive their flu shot. A department incentive was implemented in the 2006 – 2007 campaign if 90% of the employees at a particular site received the flu shot. An educational campaign was also implemented in the 2007 – 2008 flu season and staff who choose not to receive the flu vaccine were required to complete a declination form.

Flu immunization rates have increased steadily since 2003. The immunization rate for health care worker in the 2003 – 2004 flu season was 65.2%, it increased to 70% in the 2005 – 2006 flu season, and to 76% in the 2006 – 2007 flu season.

Incentive programs and education of healthcare workers at a CHC has shown to increase the rate of influenza vaccination. Incentive programs encouraging a departmental goal of 90% can also increase immunization rates. Declination forms were utilized during the 2007 – 2008 campaign, results are pending.