Evaluation of Pneumococcal Vaccination Rates After Vaccine Protocol Changes and Nurse Education in a Tertiary Care Teaching Hospital

AUTHORS: Jennifer G. Smith, Nicole L. Metzger



BACKGROUND: Pneumococcal vaccination in eligible patients is recommended by the Infectious Disease Society of America and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Because hospitalization provides an opportunity to vaccinate patients at high risk for developing serious pneumonia complications, eligibility screening and administration of the pneumococcal vaccine prior to discharge in qualified patients are evaluated by the Joint Commission and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) as part of pneumococcal vaccination core quality measures. Among patients with an inpatient diagnosis of pneumonia in 2008, 56% in our 580-bed tertiary care teaching hospital, compared with 84% nationwide, received pneumococcal vaccination. To improve pneumococcal vaccination rates for all patients in the study facility and not just those with pneumonia, a multifaceted intervention including a revised nurse screening tool, rescheduling of the vaccine order, storage of the vaccine in automated dispensing cabinets on the nursing unit, and creation of a vaccine tracking system was developed and implemented between August 2009 and October 2009.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the impact of a multifaceted intervention on pneumococcal vaccine screening and administration rates in eligible patients according to the CDC recommendations who were admitted to an internal medicine unit of a tertiary care teaching hospital.

METHODS: All patients aged 18 years or older from 2 internal medicine units were identified during 4-month time intervals before (pre-intervention, April through July 2009) and after (post-intervention, November 2009 through February 2010) implementation of the multifaceted pneumococcal vaccine protocol. Of these, 150 patients from each 4-month period were randomly selected for electronic medical record review. Eligibility for pneumococcal vaccination was  derived from the CDC recommendations and consensus of the vaccine steering committee at the study institution; the criteria included aged 65 years or older, admitting diagnosis of pneumonia, at least 1 of several chronic diseases, immunocompromising condition, cochlear implant, cerebrospinal fluid leak, current tobacco smoking, pregnancy or having a child in the home less than aged 6 months, or awaiting solid organ transplantation. Patients who had vaccine contraindications/precautions or had been vaccinated in the previous 5 years were ineligible. Data on demographics, presence of vaccine screening, indication, administration, rescheduling, and refusal were collected. The primary endpoint was the rate of pneumococcal vaccine administration in eligible medicine patients. Secondary endpoints included changes in screening rates, vaccine refusal, and order rescheduling. Descriptive statistics and Student’s t-test were used to evaluate patient demographic data. Pearson chi-square was used to compare the pre- and post-implementation periods.

RESULTS: The rate of pneumococcal vaccine administration in eligible patients significantly improved post-implementation compared with pre-implementation (74.2% vs. 19.1%, respectively, P?<?0.001). Rates of vaccine screening were similar pre-implementation (96.0%) and post-implementation (99.3%, P?=?0.056). The rates of vaccine refusal in the pre- and post-implementation periods did not significantly differ (10.6% vs. 22.6%, respectively, P?=?0.203).

CONCLUSIONS: Implementation of vaccine protocol changes was associated with improved pneumococcal vaccination rates in eligible medicine patients. Protocol changes were relatively easy to implement in a large institution, and a similar approach may be implemented at other institutions as an effective way to improve pneumococcal vaccination rates.


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