Category Archives: Immunizations
Patients are more likely to get influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations when the responsibility for immunization administration is shifted to non-physician health care professionals, especially nurses, according to a systematic review published in the Annals of Family Medicine. Quality improvement interventions that use this “team change” strategy were associated with a 44 percent increase in influenza vaccination rates, and more than doubled the likelihood of a patient getting a pneumococcal vaccination.
The authors found that team changes were most effective when a nurse assumed responsibility for administering vaccinations. “Interventions in which nurses or pharmacists assessed patients and reminded physicians, but did not themselves administer vaccinations, were ineffective,” the study says. “…Configuring additional personnel so that they are able [to] relieve physicians of vaccinations seems important to successful team change.”
A family physician often has more immediate concerns to address when a patient comes in for a check-up, co-author Jeffrey Johnson, of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, told Reuters. “But for a nurse in the primary care setting, [vaccinations and other preventive care] might be the first thing they’re responsible for,” he said. “The evidence, we think, clearly shows that shifting the responsibility and the ability to the non-physician personnel... That works.”
The review and analysis also finds that personal outreach to patients is an effective strategy for raising immunization rates.
Human Capital News Roundup: Sleep's effect on vaccinations, gun violence, lead contamination, and more.
Around the country, print, broadcast and online media outlets are covering the groundbreaking work of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) leaders, scholars, fellows and grantees. Some recent examples:
Technically Philly reports that, after organizing “Game Solutions for Health,” in which students competed to build the best mobile heath tool, RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholars alumna Nancy Hanrahan, PhD, RN, CS, FAAN, will now lead a technology and innovation lab and related course at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. Read a post Hanrahan wrote for the RWJF Human Capital Blog about Game Solutions for Health.
Not getting enough sleep after receiving a vaccination could reduce vaccine effectiveness, according to a study by RWJF Health & Society Scholar Aric Prather, PhD. “People who slept less than six hours per night were nearly 12 times more likely to be left unprotected by the vaccine than those who slept more than seven hours per night,” because their immune systems produced fewer antibodies in response to the vaccine, Health Day reports.
RWJF Clinical Scholar Comilla Sasson, MD, MS—an emergency room physician at the University of Colorado Hospital—spoke to Colorado Public Radio about caring for, and following up with, the victims of the mass shooting in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.
By Deepa Camenga, MD, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar
When I was pregnant with my first child, my husband and I diligently prepared for our new baby. We studiously researched the safest car seats, cribs and strollers, we took labor classes to prepare for the birth, and we ate a healthy diet. My husband accompanied me to every OB/GYN visit, and we both listened closely when the doctor recommended that we should both receive the flu and Tdap (Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) vaccine.
Tdap protects against pertussis, or whooping cough, a debilitating respiratory infection that can be fatal in young infants. I had received Tdap during my pediatric residency as recommended by the hospital, and my OB/GYN provided the flu vaccine, but my husband, an overall healthy guy, had not seen a doctor in years and had not received Tdap. He went to our local pharmacy for a flu shot, so I could check that off our list, but as the months moved forward, still no Tdap.
Fast forward to the delivery, when upon discharge our nurse again reminded us about Tdap. I’m sure it sank in somewhere, but it was quickly forgotten when we pulled into our driveway and realized we didn’t know how to remove our son from the car seat. The weeks that followed quickly turned into months…and years. Ultimately, it took a full two years—and the birth of our second son—before my husband was finally vaccinated.
I’m sure this experience is shared by many new parents. It was no surprise to me when I learned that few eligible adults in the United States receive the Tdap vaccine.