A team from a tertiary center in the Middle East used a multidisciplinary approach to increase immunization.
Influenza vaccination amongst health care workers (HCW) remains a challenge from a global standpoint, and within the Middle East, in particularly, it has been reported that immunization is at 24.7% in part because of limited access and awareness.
In addition, looking at the introduction of COVID-19, and the potential presentation of the “twindemic” and having to treat for both influenza and COVID-19 simultaneously is cause for double concern, especially amongst HCW.
As such, hospital personnel from the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi developed an immunization campaign at their hospital system. The results were presented virtually at the IDWeek 2021 conference.
The investigators set up a multidisciplinary task force representing members of various staffs including occupational health, nursing, operations, infomatics, pharmacists, and administrative staff prior to the campaign. The task force decided to switch the location from a vaccine center to a mobile clinic. The task force met on a regular basis to launch and monitor the ongoing immunizations. Electronic medical record tools helped facilitate nursing check-in, documentation and immunization at one stop and eliminated previously used registration by other staff. In addition, they set up ongoing education and awareness of immunization using various communication platforms including phone screens, virtual grand rounds, corporate intranet communication, and website videos.
From September 2020 until the end of October 2020, 3399 HCWs were immunized (95%). “Of these, 86 (2.4%) employees exempted during this period due to medical reasons or excused leaves ( e.g military, maternity). Compliance differed among functions, 95.86% physicians, 97.2% clinical and nursing, 92% academics, 94.96% finance, 91.15% human resources, 92.1% infomatics, 60% legal, 80.6% operations. Only 93 (2.6%) were non-compliant,” the investigators reported.
“A multidisciplinary and collaborative team of teams approach delivered higher compliance for flu immunization than reported in the Middle East and enhanced by the use of state of the art technology,” the investigators reported. “Convenience, educational awareness, free and safe access supported further the compliance with vaccination.
The investigators said they believed their immunization campaign was the “first successful” 2020 flu campaign being reported in the Middle East during the pandemic.
The study, “Delivery of Flu Immunizations to Healthcare Workers During COVID-19 Pandemic Using a Multidisciplinary Flu Team Approach in A Tertiary Center in the Middle East,” was presented virtually at IDWeek 2021, held September 29-October 3, 2021.