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To identify and classify barriers to establishing a standing orders program (SOP) for adult pneumococcal vaccination in acute care inpatient facilities and to provide recommendations for overcoming these roadblocks. Vaccination rates in hospitals with SOPs are generally higher than those in hospitals that require individual physician orders. The array of solutions drawn from our experience in different hospital settings should permit many types of facilities to anticipate and overcome barriers, allowing a smoother transition from initiation to successful implementation of an inpatient pneumococcal vaccination SOP.
Descriptive study of barriers and solutions encountered during implementation of a pneumococcal vaccination SOP in three hospitals of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Health System (UPMC) and in the scientific literature.
As of 2004, two UPMC tertiary-care hospitals and one UPMC community hospital had incorporated SOPs into existing physician order-driven programs for inpatient vaccination with pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine.
Barriers were identified at each step of implementation and categorized as patient related, provider related, or institutional. Based on a process of continual review and revision of our programs in response to encountered barriers, steps were taken to overcome these impediments.
A strong commitment by key individuals in the facility's administration including a physician champion; ongoing, persistent efforts to educate and train staff; and close monitoring of the vaccination rate were essential for successful implementation of a SOP for pneumococcal vaccination of eligible inpatients. Legal statutes and evaluations of external hospital-rating associations regarding the effectiveness of the vaccination program were major motivating factors in its success.
To increase the proportion of inpatients vaccinated against pneumococcal infection.
Pre- and post-intervention study.
University medical center–affiliated, suburban community teaching hospital.
Unvaccinated inpatients 65 years and older and those 2 to 64 years old who had chronic medical conditions predisposing them to invasive pneumococcal infection.
The nursing staff screened newly admitted patients for eligibility based on age, diagnosis, or medications from a computer-generated admissions list and placed a pre-printed order form for the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV) on the charts of eligible patients. Following the physician's order, the nursing staff administered the PPV and recorded it. Ongoing quality improvements including admission vaccination screening and computer-based record keeping were initiated to identify unvaccinated eligible patients and track vaccination status.
Efforts resulted in rates of in-hospital vaccination ranging from 3.1% to 7.9% (mean, 5.2% ± 1.7% [standard deviation]) and significant improvements in the assessment of previous vaccination status, reaching 54% of eligible patients after 1 year. Ascertainment of a previous vaccination increased significantly following the initiation of the use of admission forms that specifically assessed vaccination status and a system to permanently record vaccination status in an electronic medical record (P < .05).
Concerted efforts using electronic medical records significantly improved the assessment and documentation of inpatient vaccination status. Greater improvement of the rates of in-hospital vaccination will require healthcare system–wide efforts such as a standing order policy for vaccinating all eligible patients. Standing orders for inpatient immunization supported by effective assessment and tracking systems have the potential to raise vaccination rates to the goals of Healthy People 2010 (Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2003;24:526-531)
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