The Immunization Action Coalition and the National Adult and Influenza Summit published an Executive Briefing on improving adult immunization rates. Acknowledging that adult immunization is an uphill battle, the reports cites a number of reasons, including cultural misperception and socioeconomic barriers. The good news is that healthcare organizations that make adult vaccination a strategic care priority can realize significant improvements in population health.
The report identifies steps that hospitals and health systems can take to begin improving adult immunization rates. Quoting from the report, these are:
1. Population-level assessment. "The first thing to do is understand your own data and the population you're trying to serve," says Dr.John Bulger, DO, CMO for population health at Danville, Pa.-based Geisinger Health System and CMO of the system's 500,000-member health plan.
"If there's a gap between the number of patients and the number of people in your population who want to vaccinate, then you can ask what are the barriers to vaccines — is it cost, is it convenience — and take steps to address those barriers." This involves using health data to measure incidence of illness within a certain population, as well as the distribution of illness within the region.
2. Get involved in trade associations. Dr. Bulger recommends hospitals and health systems join trade associations that provide resources and support designed to boost adult immunization rates. By participating in these peer groups, health systems can gain valuable insight into best practices, effective intervention strategies and thought leadership.
3. Leverage interdisciplinary partnerships. Forming teams of providers from across disciplines to champion and implement new care strategies is essential to ensure the success of any hospitalwide initiative. Increasing the rates of adult immunization is ultimately going to occur at the provider-patient interaction level. Teams comprised of physicians, nurses and pharmacists can help entrench new care approaches into the workplace culture.
At this year's annual ACP Internal Medicine Meeting, the Center for Quality was pleased to recognize an outstanding group of people for their achievements in improving patient care in the practice setting. The following people were recognized at the Quality Luncheon:
ACP Quality Connect: Chronic Pain Champion Award Winners
University of Louisville - Nancy Kubiak, MD & B. Frank Parker, MD
ACP Quality Connect: I Raise the Rates Champion Award Winner
University of Louisville - David Borne, MD, FACP
ACP Quality Connect: Diabetes Champion Award Winners
Virginia Commonwealth University Health -
Deb Koehn, MD, FACP
Susan Miller, MD, FAAFP
Linda Thurby-Hay, DNP, RN, ACNS-BC, BC-ADM, CDE
Rachel Waller, MD, FACP
Chapter Award Winners
New Jersey ACP Chapter -
Steven Peskin, MD, MBA, Horizon BCBS, Governor, NJ ACP Chapter
Diane Carroll, Director, New Jersey Immunization Network, NJAAP
Florida ACP Chapter -
Jason M. Goldman, MD, FACP, Governor, Florida ACP Chapter
Dawn Moerings, Executive Director, Florida ACP Chapter
Outstanding ACP Quality Connect Faculty
C. Michael Soppet, MD, FACP
QI Supporter Award
Robert (Bob) Kristofco, MSW, CCME, Director of Medical Education for Pfizer
Second Annual John Palmiero ACP QI Team Champion Memorial Award
Stoney Brook Internal Medicine Residency Program
Rachel Wong, MD
William Carroll, MD
Alice Fernan, RN
ACP’s Adult Immunization & Quality Improvement for Resident Program Competition
Internal Medicine Residency Program at Orange Park Medical Center / Palms Medical Group, Orange Park, FL
Internal Medicine Residency Program at Brandon Regional Hospital, Brandon, FL
Internal Medicine Residency Program at St. Francis Medical Center, Trenton, NJ
Internal Medicine Residency Program at Capital Health, Trenton, NJ
Chief Vaccination Officer in ACP’s I Raise the Rates Initiative
Terell McKenzie, Quality Medical Association of West Delray, Delray Beach, FL
Fill your toolbox with these ACP learning opportunities
And no need to leave your office! As we enter the summer months, please take advantage of these free learning opportunities.
ACP’s Improving Patient Outcomes through Quality Improvement webinar series
These webinars will help you improve methods and teamwork in your practice to streamline workflows and improve patient services and outcomes. This series is sponsored jointly by the ACP Leadership Academy, ACP’s Quality Connect Programs, and the ACP Support and Alignment Network (SAN). They are pre-recorded and available onliine at any time. The first, Leading Practice Transformation and Quality Improvement in Times of Change is now available on ACP Online. You can also register for QI Basics and Using Data and Discussion to Drive Improvement HERE.
ACP Quality Connect Coaching Calls Join National Experts on Quality Improvement
Bring your questions and your experiences to our popular Coaching Call series. These 1-hour calls provide a forum for ACP members to discuss all quality improvement topics and programs, including immunization, diabetes, atrial fibrillation and chronic pain. Expert faculty will provide guidance on general QI/practice transformation strategies and will focus on specific clinical programs. These calls are free of charge and are open to all QI Champions and members of their teams.
Get the Free App of The Vaccine Handbook available from the Immunization Action Coalition
The Immunization Action Coalition has created a new app of the The Vaccine Handbook for Apple iPhones and iPads. It contains the complete 2017 (6th) edition of The Vaccine Handbook (“The Purple Book”), by Dr. Gary Marshall, professor of pediatrics and chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Louisville. The app is fully searchable and supports bookmarking, highlighting, user annotation, and links to important vaccination resources.
"The Purple Book" is a comprehensive source of vaccine science, guidance, and practice into a user-friendly resource for the private office, public health clinic, academic medical center, classroom, and hospital. The first section provides background on vaccine immunology, development, infrastructure, policy, standards, implementation, special circumstances, and—perhaps most importantly—addressing concerns. The second section contains details about every vaccine currently licensed in the U.S., including the burden and epidemiology of the respective disease, history of the immunization program, vaccine constituents, efficacy, safety, and recommendations.
The free app may be found by searching the iTunes App Store for “The Vaccine Handbook App” or by clicking HERE.
Print copies of the book ($34.95 each; bulk discounts are available from the publisher) can be ordered from the Immunization Action Coalition website at www.immunize.org/vaccine-handbook.
MMWR Reports on Vaccination Coverage Among Adult Populations — United States, 2015
This report from the CDC draws upon data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) is a continuous, cross-sectional national household survey of the noninstitutionalized U.S. civilian population.
The survey found that overall, the prevalence of illness attributable to vaccine-preventable diseases is greater among adults than among children. Compared with data from the 2014 NHIS, there were some modest improvements in vaccination reates, but vaccination coverage among adults in 2015 was similar to estimates from 2014.
Racial/ethnic differences in coverage persisted for the seven vaccines studied, with higher coverage generally for whites compared with most other groups. Adults without health insurance generally reported receipt of vaccines less often than those with health insurance.
Adults who reported having a usual place for health care generally reported receipt of recommended vaccinations more often than those who did not have such a place, regardless of whether they had health insurance. Vaccination coverage was higher among adults reporting one or more physician contacts in the past year compared with those who had not visited a physician in the past year, regardless of whether they had health insurance. Overall, vaccination coverage among U.S.-born adults was higher than that among foreign-born adults, with few exceptions.