The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend that high-risk patients between the ages of 19-64 receive pneumococcal vaccination, but documented rates of vaccination in this patient population remain low. We found similar low rates of vaccination in our metro health system. Thus, we implemented an inter-professional collaboration utilizing student pharmacists to increase pneumococcal vaccination rates in at-risk patients receiving medical care within urgent care clinics. The study also sought to better identify the number of patients previously vaccinated for pneumococcal disease in this health system.
Two urgent-care intervention clinics were staffed 10-15 hours weekly with pharmacy students completing Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPE) and compared to two matched control clinics. The students assessed patients at the time of their urgent care visit for eligibility for the pneumococcal vaccine based on CDC criteria as well as prior vaccination status. If eligible, students discussed the importance of the vaccination, answered questions, and offered to have the vaccine administered during the current visit. The number of administered and declined vaccinations and the reason for refusal were recorded.
A total of 1,178 patients seen in intervention clinics and assessed by the student pharmacists met criteria for pneumococcal vaccination. The most common criteria for vaccination were cigarette smoking, pulmonary and metabolic disorders. Two hundred eighty seven of these patients (24%) were determined to have previously received the vaccine. Of the remaining 891 patients, pneumococcal vaccination was provided during the urgent care visit for 96 patients (10.7%). Patients cited cost or lack of health insurance as the primary reason for declining vaccination. During the same time period, only 6 patients in the control clinics received pneumococcal vaccine (p<0.001).
Student pharmacists in an IPPE experience improved documentation of previous pneumococcal vaccination as well as provision of new vaccinations to at-risk patients seeking care in an urgent care clinic. This was done with no extra cost or personnel time to the clinic and with student pharmacists only on site 10-15 hours weekly.
G. Wall, The Medicine COmpany: Speaker's Bureau , Salary
C. Renner, None
K. D. Hahn, None
B. Sheesley, None
A. Bjornson, None
L. Veach, None