APIC creates an influenza immunization toolkit

Helping ICPs boost HCW vaccination rates

The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) has created a toolkit on improving influenza vaccination rates in heath care workers. APIC’s "Protect Your Patients. Protect Yourself" program features a variety of helpful resource materials infection control specialists can use to encourage health care institutions to implement or expand their health care worker immunization programs.

Materials in the kit range from suggested approaches for proposing in-house immunization programs to institutional management to sample communications tools, designed to help institutions reach health care workers with information about the importance of annual influenza immunization and to promote in-house influenza immunization programs sponsored by employers. A case study included in the materials cites the success of a 100-bed acute care hospital in Wisconsin that has achieved a worker immunization rate of 83% of health care workers. The program’s success was credited to three key elements:

  • Tie-in with mandatory activities: Influenza vaccine clinics are timed to required employee activities, such as TB screening and human resource forms that must be filled out, to heighten the visibility of the immunization program.
  • Convenience: Offering the influenza vaccine along with other required activities allows employees to be immunized without extra effort.
  • One-on-one counseling: Clinic administrators can approach employees who are participating in TB screening or other mandatory activities, identify those who are reluctant to be vaccinated, and offer counseling that explains their personal, family, and professional risks.

(Editor’s note: To review the entire toolkit, go to APIC’s web site at http://www.apic.org.)