Purpose: To assess whether we could export a successful multifaceted influenza vaccination program from an academic medical center to a community setting.
Design: Pre/post study using concurrent control groups.
Setting: Clinics in a staff model Health Maintenance Organization (HMO). One urban and one suburban clinic were chosen as intervention clinics, while two similar clinics were selected as control clinics.
Patients: All patients aged 65 and over enrolled in the four clinics.
Interventions: An informational mailing to patients, a standing-order policy allowing nurses to administer vaccine, a vaccination reminder on daily appointment lists, and availability of walk-in visits for vaccination. Patients in the control clinics received usual care.
Measurements: Vaccination rates were determined using a validated postcard survey of 150 randomly selected patients at each clinic both at baseline (1988-89) and after the intervention (1989-90).
Results: The baseline vaccination rates ranged from 51.4% to 74.6%, with nearly all vaccinations taking place at the HMO. In one intervention clinic, the vaccination rate improved from 56.4% to 72.3%, P = 0.01. In the other, the baseline rate was 74.6% and did not change significantly after the intervention. There was no change in the vaccination rate in the control clinics after the intervention period.
Conclusions: An influenza vaccination program that combines several organizational interventions may be successfully exported from an academic to a community setting and may serve as a useful model for others.