Combining Evidence and Diffusion of Innovation Theory to Enhance Influenza Immunization

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Background: Children and adolescents with chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and HIV are at high risk of influenza-related morbidity, and there are recommendations to immunize these populations annually. At Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, the influenza immunization rate increased to 90.4% (5% declined) among 200 patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). Diffusion of innovation theory was used to guide the design and implementation of spread to other clinics.

Method: The main intervention strategies were: (1) engagement of interested, nurse-led teams, (2) A collaborative learning session, (3) A tool kit including literature, sample goals, reminder postcards, communication strategies, and team member roles and processes, (4) open-access scheduling and standing orders (5) A simple Web-based registry, (6) facilitated vaccine ordering, (7) recall phone calls, and (8) weekly results posting.

Results: Clinic-specific immunization rates ranged from 32.7% to 92.8%, with the highest rate reported in the CF clinic. All teams used multiple strategies; with six of the seven using four or more. Overall, 60.0% (762/1,269) of the population was immunized. Barriers included vaccine shortages, lack of time for reminder calls, and lack of physician support in one clinic.

Discussion: A combination of interventions, guided by evidence and diffusion of innovation theory, led to immunization rates higher than those reported in the literature.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2006

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  • 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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