Nurses Are Good at Giving Flu Vaccines, Bad at Getting Them

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, November 27, 2012

Nurses are leading the way in reducing readmissions, improving infection control, and greening hospitals. Now add improving vaccination rates to that list.

A new study in the Annals of Family Medicine finds that more elderly and at-risk adults get flu and pneumonia vaccinations when the shots are administered by nurses instead of doctors.

healthcare worker vaccinations

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Researchers at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, analyzed 77 studies about methods for improving vaccination rates, from patient financial incentives to patient outreach.

They found that "interventions involving team change were effective, especially where nurses had been assigned responsibilities for administering vaccine."

Of all the methods they studied, the researchers found that giving vaccination responsibility to nurses was among the most successful ways to improve vaccination rates.

"The evidence, we think, clearly shows that shifting the responsibility and the ability to vaccinate to non-physician personnel... works," Jeffrey Johnson, one of the researchers, told Reuters Health.

Alexandra Wilson Pecci

Alexandra Wilson Pecci is an editor for HealthLeaders Media.

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