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P098: Staff and patient attitudes towards influenza vaccination availability during wait times at the Queen Elizabeth II Emergency Department, Halifax, Nova Scotia (in progress)

  • N. Ozog (a1), A. Steenbeek (a1), J. Curran (a1) and N. Kelly (a1)

Abstract

Introduction: Influenza is a preventable infectious disease that causes a yearly burden to Canada. While an influenza vaccine is available free of charge in most provinces, uptake is below target rates. 15% of Canadians who did not get the influenza vaccine reported that they “didn't get around to it”; this presents an opportunity to combine the task of influenza prevention with the logistical issue of another health system challenge: escalating emergency department (ED) wait times. At the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre (QEII) in Halifax, NS, average wait time is 4.6 hours. Offering the influenza vaccine during this time could increase convenient access to health services, and ultimately, improve vaccination rates. Methods: This observational, cross-sectional design study is currently in progress. It aims to gauge public interest, health care provider (HCP) support, perceived barriers and perceived facilitators to influenza vaccine availability at the QEII ED. Data is being collected via short, anonymous, close-ended questionnaires over a 7-week period, set to end Dec 14, 2018. Client participants are a convenience sample of low-acuity (Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale score 4/5), adult clients who use the QEII ED during the study period, anticipated n = 150. Client questionnaires are completed, with the help of a research assistant, on an iPad that inputs data directly into a secure online data collection tool. The HCP group is a convenience sample of nurses, physicians and paramedics currently working in the QEII ED, anticipated n = 80. Questionnaires are available to HCPs either on paper outside the staff lounge, or online. Data is being collected via short, anonymous, close-ended questionnaires over a 7-week period, set to end Dec 14, 2018. Client participants are a convenience sample of low-acuity (Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale score 4/5), adult clients who use the QEII ED during the study period, anticipated n = 150. Client questionnaires are completed, with the help of a research assistant, on an iPad that inputs data directly into a secure online data collection tool. The HCP group is a convenience sample of nurses, physicians and paramedics currently working in the QEII ED, anticipated n = 80. Questionnaires are available to HCPs either on paper outside the staff lounge, or online. Results: Following completion of data collection, descriptive statistics, such as the frequency of support for ED influenza vaccination and the proportion of unvaccinated clients willing to receive the vaccine if available in the ED, will be calculated using IBM SPSS Statistics 25. This will provide meaningful data that can be used by the QEII to inform future program planning (i.e. should the influenza vaccine be made available in the ED). Conclusion: An ED vaccination program could add value to the hours clients spend waiting to be seen, and make ED care more cohesive. It is essential that clients and ED staff are approached prior to any new initiative; this study is one way we can lay the necessary groundwork for a public health program that would utilize patient “wait time” more effectively.

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      P098: Staff and patient attitudes towards influenza vaccination availability during wait times at the Queen Elizabeth II Emergency Department, Halifax, Nova Scotia (in progress)
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