Be InFLUential

Summary
Results
Conducted at Alfred Health, a tertiary health service in Melbourne, Australia, the purpose of the following study was to create and implement a campaign to improve influenza vaccination rates among staff members. In 2013, Alfred Health ran a vaccination program across all three of its campuses. Through this program, staff were able to receive free, government-funded influenza vaccinations on mass vaccination days organized by the Staff Immunization and Exposure Management Unit. To inform the development of the new campaign, staff were surveyed as the 2013 program came to a close, providing the development team with information on the barriers and benefits identified as being connected to influenza vaccination, as well as staff member vaccination status. Using data obtained from staff surveys, new communication, marketing, and accessibility strategies were created for the 2014 campaign. To improve access to the vaccine, immunization nurses were available on wards and during routine meetings to offer and administer vaccinations while mass vaccination days were increased from three to five and spread out across all three campuses. To remind staff to attend vaccination sessions, senior executives sent out weekly electronic communications and short presentations were given at hospital-wide meetings. Marketing materials to promote the campaign and encourage participation included posters, computer screensavers, and campaign stickers designed to be placed on the identification badges of vaccinated staff. Messages used in communication and marketing materials were developed with the help of Alfred Health’s Public Affairs Unit and focused on the increased risk of healthcare workers acquiring influenza, as well as highlighting the small risk of complications associated with getting the vaccine, compared to severe complications arising from natural infection. Free coffee and door prizes were provided to staff members who attended the first three hours of mass vaccination day events and departments with over 80% compliance were entered into a drawing to win a coffee machine. During the campaign, all staff were asked to complete a form declaring their vaccination status - information that was later entered into a database created for the campaign. Each week, the names of staff who had not yet submitted their form were given to managers so they could confidentially prompt staff to report their vaccination status. Influenza vaccination rates for 2013 and 2014 were compared using the chi-squared test, with p< 0.05 deemed statistically significant. Pre-campaign questionnaire responses were received from 1328/6879 staff members, of which 76% were vaccinated. After the 2014 campaign, 6009/7480 (80.3%) staff were vaccinated, with significant improvement in uptake across all campuses and amongst nursing, medical and allied health staff.

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