Kate O’Donaghue 1, Jane Tomlinson 1, Sue Scott 1, Rachel Holly 1, Kareena Johnson 1, Freya Tan 1, Bernadette Twomey 1
1 Royal Children’s Hospital, Parkville, VIC, Australia
A government funded healthcare worker influenza vaccination program has been implemented for many years in Victorian public hospitals and data has been collected since 2005. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) increased the vaccination target rate to 75 percent in 2014. The Royal Children’s Hospital aims to increase the uptake of the influenza vaccination to 90 percent with a nurse immuniser managed program.
Healthcare workers and other hospitals were consulted to identify improvements to facilitate vaccination. Strategies to enhance the campaign included increased access to the vaccine with streamlined sessions, local nurse immunisers, education and communication. Nurse immunisers were supported in their role with education and resources. An education campaign targeting myths was updated. Communication included lift screens, intranet messages and customised emails to managers and individuals.
The program commenced with daily sessions for four weeks. The percentage of staff vaccinated in the first four weeks exceeded the target of 75 percent. Drop in sessions continued with nurse immunisers roaming in offices hours and local nurse immunisers providing afterhours vaccination. The combination of education, individual reminders and providing access to the vaccine has resulted in a high vaccination rate early in the campaign. Final results will be available in August.
Vaccine campaigns require time to succeed. Support from leaders, continuous education and communication to healthcare workers is essential in increasing uptake across staff categories.
Acting on feedback from healthcare workers, increasing access and supporting the local nurse immunisers resulted in a high vaccination rate.