Development of a Staff Vaccination Program-All that Glitters is Not Gold

Sue Flockhart 1, Catrice Grahame 2, Allison Hodge 3, Frances Plucke 4, Susan Poynton 4

Ballarat Health Services, Redan, VIC, Australia

Ballarat Health Services, Miners Rest, VIC, Australia

Ballarat Health Services, Ballarat North, VIC, Australia

4 Ballarat Health Services, Ballarat, VIC, Australia


Introduction: The introduction of the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards in 2012 and Standard 3: Preventing and Controlling Healthcare Associated Infections prompted Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) to review its current staff immunisation program.

Methods: IPAC analysed the current immunisation programs strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT). This highlighted a number of opportunities for improvement. These included the development of a business case for EFT to coordinate the revised staff immunisation program, the adoption of a ‘no evidence no start’ policy for all new employees, a review of the current policy and the development of a documented system of vaccine refusal.

Results: Historically December to February is the busiest time for staff health processing due to the commencement of new graduate nurses, Interns and Hospital Medical Officers. With the implementation of the new program, in 2015-2016 IPAC processed 255 new staff over an average of 11 days processing time – from paperwork being received to clearance given. In comparison to 2014 – 2015, 155 new staff were processed taking an average of 9 days, this representing a 65% increase in staff numbers.

Conclusion: It has now been 21 months since the implementation of the revised staff immunisation program. Whilst we have been able to implement a robust staff immunisation program during this time there remains a gap in existing staff members immunisation status and staff not returning for follow-up vaccinations as requested. This demonstrates the need for increased resources to administer this program to full effectiveness.

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