A decade of experience with an inpatient pneumococcal vaccination program

January 2010
American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy;1/15/2010, Vol. 67 Issue 2, p148
Academic Journal
Purpose. A hospital's experience with an inpatient pneumococcal vaccination program is described. Summary. Saint Luke's Hospital (SLH) is a 625-bed, tertiary care, referral hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. In a retrospective analysis conducted in 1995 of pneumococcal vaccination rates in patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) at the hospital, only 1 of 84 patients had documented pneumococcal vaccination. These results led to efforts to improve assessment of vaccination status, documentation of vaccination, and pneumococcal vaccination rates. In 1998, the pharmacy department at SLH conducted a study to examine the impact of pharmacists on pneumococcal vaccination rates through incorporation of vaccination assessment into selected critical pathways. Pharmacists were assigned to screen and educate patients on chosen pathways. When eligible patients were identified in the intervention group, the pharmacist would then contact their physician for authorization to vaccinate. The success of the study led to several notable changes to the pneumococcal vaccination program in 2001. First, the vaccination assessment was moved from selected critical pathways to the admission database of all patients. Second, a collaborative practice agreement was developed to authorize pharmacists to write pneumococcal and influenza vaccine orders for eligible patients per the program's protocol. These two changes led to a dramatic improvement in overall screening and documentation rates of pneumococcal vaccination for patients with CAP and for other at-risk patients. Conclusion. A pneumococcal vaccination program helped a hospital meet regulatory expectations for vaccination of patients with CAP and vaccinated many other at-risk patients.


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