Influenza Immunization

 

What are we doing and why?

Influenza (commonly referred to as "the flu") is an easily spread respiratory tract infection. It is caused by a virus and about 5% to 20% of the people in the U.S. contract the flu each year. The flu usually starts abruptly, with a fever, cough, sore throat, and muscle aches. It can infect people of any age, but young children and the elderly are especially vulnerable. While most people are sick for only a few days, some have a more serious illness and may need to visit the hospital. Between October and March, MGH offers vaccinations to patients over six months of age to reduce their risk of contracting influenza in the future. According to the National Committee for Quality Assurance, influenza vaccines can prevent half of hospitalizations and 80% of deaths due to influenza-related complications in the elderly.

How are we doing and how do we compare to best practice?

The vast majority of MGH patients receive an influenza vaccination, with 99% receiving it in the most recent period (October 2016 to March 2017). This exceeds the national average, which was 93%.

  • Current Scores
  • Scores Over Time
  • Higher values are better
93% 100% 99%

MGH Source: Hospital administrative data and chart review.
Comparison Group Source: CMS/TJC National Hospital Quality Measures.

MGH: Oct 16-Mar 17
CMS: Oct 16-Mar 17

96 96 99 94 94 93 100 100 100

MGH Source: Hospital administrative data and chart review.
Comparison Group Source: CMS/TJC National Hospital Quality Measures.



What are we doing to improve?

The MGH policy is to offer the influenza vaccination to hospitalized patients over the age of six months who have not already received the vaccine during a given season. MGH also encourages administration in its ambulatory clinics, making this an all-out effort to ensure that eligible patients are vaccinated. We review different sources to determine who needs the vaccine, which has been made easier through the adoption of a single electronic medical record across the Partners Healthcare System. This provides us with access to inpatient and outpatient immunization records at MGH and other Partners hospitals.

What can you do?

Protect yourself by getting a flu shot at the start of each season. Check with your primary care physician to see if you are eligible. If you are hospitalized, ask the physician about being vaccinated during your stay.

 

 

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