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Influenza Vaccination Education Strategy in the Emergency Department


The influenza virus can cause severe illness and create a significant economic burden. Despite efforts to promote influenza vaccinations in the United States (U.S.), vaccination rates remain below the 70% target established by Healthy People 2030, a national effort that sets objectives for improving the health of the people living in the U.S. Lack of awareness, misperceptions and limited accessibility to influenza vaccination have been proposed as contributors to the underachievement of ideal influenza vaccination rates. The Emergency Department (ED) serves many people with public health or no insurance, with limited healthcare access and unmet medical needs, making it the only point of contact for healthcare needs for many. An opportunity to educate this population about the importance of vaccinations may lie in the ED. However, EDs are missing efficient strategies to enhance vaccination awareness. This project deployed a novel influenza vaccine educational strategy in a Level I trauma center that is also an academic ED. The simple, cost-effective educational strategy aimed to increase patient willingness to become vaccinated without disrupting the clinical flow. Provider education, recommendation and a written handout were used to reach out to this population. Patients’ willingness to receive an influenza vaccination increased to 72% post-intervention from 29% pre-intervention. The same vaccine educational strategy can be applied to other vaccines and in other EDs to increase vaccination willingness in underserved populations.

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