Samaritan Healthcare doubles vaccination compliance with staff-focused education

August 22, 2019

Lately, the mainstream culture has been paying more and more attention to the conversation around vaccinations. And with good reason – from the limiting of the personal and philosophical exemption for the MMR vaccine to the CDC warning that the U.S. may lose its measles elimination status, awareness of the importance of vaccination has been growing. However, there is still a significant number of unvaccinated adults and parents choosing not to vaccinate their children.

This is an issue that Samaritan Healthcare (Moses Lake, WA) knows well. In the past several years, Samaritan has emphasized collaborating with parents of young patients to increase vaccination compliance rates. In 2017, Samaritan patients age 2 and younger had a vaccination compliance rate of 15.58 percent, with compliance measured as an all-or-nothing completion of the following: four DtaP, three IPV, one MMR, three HiB, three HepB, one Varicella, four PCV, two HepA, two R/V and two Flu. Unfortunately, parent reporting of previous vaccines received by young patients was not always comprehensive. Patient data was not being accurately recorded, and some of the information on patients’ immunization statuses was incomplete.

Samaritan Healthcare dedicated itself to improving vaccination compliance rates. Staff were provided specialized training to improve the process of communicating, administering and recording immunizations. Since 2017, the immunization compliance rate has risen to 39.2 percent. To ensure continued growth moving forward, Samaritan plans to involve parents of patients in promoting immunization.

In recognition of their work to improve vaccination compliance, Samaritan Healthcare was nominated for the 2019 WSHA Rural Quality ~ Everyday Extraordinary Award, which recognizes outstanding process improvement by a health system. To be considered, nominees must be working on or have completed a project that has resulted in a positive impact on the safety and quality of rural health care. Submissions will be accepted starting in 2020, and next year’s recipient will be named at the 2020 WSHA/AWPDH Rural Hospital Leadership Conference. Questions can be directed to Sue Bergmann at Congratulations to Samaritan Healthcare for its nomination!


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