Influenza (flu) vaccination is important to the health of all of our patients at Cincinnati Children’s. The flu is an infection of the nose, throat and lungs caused by many types of flu viruses. While the flu typically causes mild symptoms, it can also be severe enough to cause hospitalization in healthy people. Flu occurs most commonly in the winter and early spring so it is important to get the flu shot starting in September.
In the Primary Care Clinics, we strongly recommend flu vaccination as a way to protect your kids from the flu.
You can help to keep yourself and your children healthy by accepting the vaccination when it is offered in clinic.
How We Measure
We measure the percentage of children age 6 months to 18 years seen during flu season in the Pediatric Primary Care clinics at the Burnet Campus, Hopple Street and Fairfield who are offered the flu shot and those who receive the flu shot.
In our clinics in 2012, 85 percent of kids were offered the flu vaccine or were vaccinated. In 2013, 88 percent of kids were offered the vaccine or were vaccinated.
Our goal is to have 100 percent of children receiving the flu vaccine.
We have looked at the reasons people decline the flu shot. The main reasons flu shots were not given:
- Families had trouble making it to the clinic for a flu shot
- Providers would forget to order the flu shot
- Misconceptions about the vaccine’s benefit and side effects
To improve the vaccination rate, we implemented the following interventions:
- Increased patient access to clinic, such as open access to scheduling including walk-in flu shot visits during the week, walk-in flu clinic on Saturdays during the flu season, and vaccination of eligible siblings of patients attending visits
- Provider education and reminders, including using our Electronic Health Records to remind staff about ordering flu vaccine and posting reminders in workroom areas and computer stations
- Patient education to increase patient awareness of the importance and need for flu vaccine. Reminders were posted in examination rooms and bathrooms, and postcards were mailed to eligible patients when the flu vaccine became available.