22771 San Diego Health Professionals Immunization Initiative (SDHPIČ): Going Beyond Traditional Venues to Reach New Audiences of Healthcare Personnel

Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Grand Hall
Mark Sawyer, MD , Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, San Diego Immunization Partnership, Department of Pediatrics, UCSD

Background: Most healthcare worker immunization outreach efforts are designed to reach traditional healthcare workers in acute-care facilities.  In October 2008 CDC redefined “healthcare personnel” (HCP) to include administrative staff, volunteers, and other individuals working in clinical settings.  The new definition also emphasizes other medical settings including long-term care facilities, and emergency medical services (EMS). Non-traditional HCPs work with vulnerable patient populations and frequently come into close contact with patients and community.  Unvaccinated HCPs can transmit vaccine-preventable diseases to each other and their patients.

Setting: Long-term care (LTCF), skilled nursing facilities (SNF), EMS and schools offering medical training throughout San Diego County.

Population: Individuals recently included in the expanded definition of “healthcare personnel”: staff from the nursing, dietary, environmental, and administrative departments at long-term care (LTCF) and skilled nursing (SNF) facilities; EMTs and paramedics; and students seeking training to become nurses, medical assistants, EMTs, and paramedics at universities and trade schools.

Project Description: Outreach efforts included presentations to groups about vaccine-preventable diseases and how they are spread, good hygienic practices for prevention, and vaccine recommendations for HCPs.  Students completed post-tests to gage understanding.  A train-the-trainer curriculum was designed for nursing schools.  Vaccines were given to LTCF employees after presentations.

Results/Lessons Learned: Of the 3,923 students who completed surveys after presentations, 99% found the information useful.  98.3% were able to identify how influenza is spread. Two schools implemented train-the-trainer presentations allowing professors to easily incorporate vaccination messages into existing curriculum. 699 staff at 22 LTCFs attended presentations.  Facilities were very receptive to educating staff about the importance of vaccination.  Many facilities also coupled flu vaccination clinics for staff with the presentations to take advantage of increased interest. Targeting non-traditional audiences is a viable way to increase awareness about vaccines among healthcare personnel.  Amplified interest could potentially increase coverage rates which would be an area to explore in the future.

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