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Promoting Influenza and Pneumococcal Immunization in Older Adults

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Background: Reducing the risk of influenza and pneumococcal disease in older adults is a long-standing goal of Medicare's Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) program and parallels the Joint Commission's National Patient Safety Goal 10.

Addressing the Goal: Since 1999 the West Virginia Medical Institute has worked with a statewide partnership of health organizations on a program to improve influenza and pneumonia vaccination rates in hospitalized Medicare beneficiaries. Methods included education, audit and feedback, toolkits, and training meetings.

Results: During the first three years (1999–2001) of the effort, the rate of assessment for pneumococcal immunization at discharge increased from < 10% to 74.1% statewide and for influenza immunization from near zero to 63.4% statewide. Since 2002 pneumococcal immunization administration has increased from 16.1% to 41.1%, with similar improvement in influenza measures.

Lessons Learned/Next Steps: Hospitals—and, by extension, long term care facilities—can make dramatic improvements in quality performance in a relatively short time when key staff receive feedback about the need to improve and the tools to assist in improving.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2005

More about this publication?
  • Published monthly, The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety is a peer-reviewed publication dedicated to providing health professionals with the information they need to promote the quality and safety of health care. The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety invites original manuscripts on the development, adaptation, and/or implementation of innovative thinking, strategies, and practices in improving quality and safety in health care. Case studies, program or project reports, reports of new methodologies or new applications of methodologies, research studies on the effectiveness of improvement interventions, and commentaries on issues and practices are all considered.

    Also known as Joint Commission Journal on Quality Improvement and Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Safety
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