Implementation and evaluation of a nursing assessment/standing orders-based inpatient pneumococcal vaccination program

Am J Infect Control. 2007 Oct;35(8):508-15. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2006.08.005.


Background: Pneumococcal vaccination is recommended for patients aged 65 years and greater; inpatient vaccination has been suggested as means to increase vaccination rates is this population. Our hospital implemented an inpatient pneumococcal vaccination program, and expanded the population of interest to include patients aged 2 to 64 years with risk factors for pneumococcal bacteremia. We studied the outcomes of this program to determine if the rate of pneumococcal vaccination opportunities and pneumococcal vaccination rate could be significantly increased through the application of an in-hospital pneumococcal vaccination program, based on standing orders and assessment by Registered Nurses, when compared to our previous method of physician assessment and written vaccination order for each patient.

Methods: Subjects were inpatients admitted to non-intensive care units of our hospital from August to December of 2004. Cases were aged greater than 65 years, or were greater than 2 years of age with selected risk factors. Patients with previous pneumococcal vaccination with the past five years, in terminal or comfort care, those allergic to vaccine components, patients who received organ or bone marrow transplants in the year prior to the study, and those physicians barred them from the vaccination protocol were excluded. Program effectiveness was evaluated through retrospective evaluation of medical records to determine if subjects had been evaluated for vaccination eligibility, and if subjects were eligible, whether or not they had received pneumococcal vaccination.

Results: Overall vaccination opportunity rate after implementation of the standing orders-based program increased form 8.6% to 59.1%, and overall vaccination rates improved form 0% to 15.4%. The study found a statistically significant difference in the rate of pneumococcal vaccination opportunities (chi(2) = 182.46, p = .00) and the pneumococcal vaccination rate (chi(2) = 56, p = .00) between the two methods of assessment and vaccination; these results are attributable to the study intervention.

Conclusions: The study program contributed to increased overall vaccination opportunity and vaccination rates, when compared to the previous method. The overall rates of vaccination attained by this program were often lower than those reported in the existing literature for other program designs; however, this may be due to an unusually high rate of vaccination refusal.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Critical Pathways*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunization Programs
  • Inpatients
  • Male
  • Mass Vaccination / methods*
  • Mass Vaccination / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Nurse's Role*
  • Patient Care Planning
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines / therapeutic use*
  • Streptococcal Infections / prevention & control*
  • Treatment Refusal


  • Pneumococcal Vaccines