Intervention Ups Vaccination Rate in Health Care Workers

Flu vaccination intervention among clinic staff included lecture from doctor, reminder e-mails
By Eric Metcalf
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, July 20 (HealthDay News) -- An educational intervention program can increase low influenza vaccination rates in primary health care workers, according to research published in the July/August issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

Zvi Howard Abramson, M.D., of the Clalit Health Services in Jerusalem, and colleagues analyzed data from 344 staff members, including administrative and ancillary staff, nurses, pharmacists, and physicians, from 27 primary care clinics in Jerusalem in the 2007 to 2008 influenza season. Thirteen clinics received an intervention involving a lecture from a family physician, e-mailed reminders, and a local staff member who approached fellow staffers.

The researchers found that the immunization rate was higher in the intervention group (52.8 versus 26.5 percent). Compared to the previous influenza season, the absolute increase in immunization rate was 25.8 percent in the intervention clinics and 6.6 percent in the controls. After controlling for other variables, the intervention remained associated with immunization (odds ratio, 3.51).

"Our impression is that the program's success resulted from the general effect of raising the immunization issue and recommendation repeatedly and from different directions: medical literature, a familiar family physician with expertise, and a local staff member," the authors write. "It could be easily replicated in other clinics with low immunization rates. The intervention requires little investment of time and resources and has already been adopted by the control clinics for the following influenza immunization period."

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