Title

Using centralised procurement and digitised scanning to improve flu vaccination in WA Health staff

Abstract

Annual influenza (flu) vaccination of health care workers (HCWs) benefits workers, employers and patients by reducing staff absenteeism and disease transmission within health care facilities. However, until 2013 WA Health did not have systematic methods for procuring HCW flu vaccines and monitoring vaccination uptake among its staff.

In 2013, the Communicable Disease Control Directorate (CDCD), in collaboration with Area Health Services (AHSs) and WA Country Health Service (WACHS) introduced on-line, centralised procurement of flu vaccines for WA Health staff vaccination and a whole-of-WA Health staff 'Influenza Vaccination Form' formatted to enable digitised scanning into an electronic database.

In 2013, 25,400 flu vaccines were ordered for WA Health staff, a 19% increase compared with 2012. By 1 July 2013, over 18,000 WA Health staff had undergone flu vaccination, representing 33% uptake overall, and 36%, 30% 29%, and 23% in medical, allied health, nursing and administrative staff, respectively. Vaccination uptake in Child and Adolescent Health, South Metropolitan, North Metropolitan and WA Country Health Services were 61%, 39%, 35% and 30%, respectively. Uptake was over 70% in Princess Margaret and Geraldton Hospitals and between 60% and 69% in Bentley, Rockingham and Port Hedland Hospitals.

Digitised scanning represents significant efficiency gains compared to manual data entry as one staff member can verify 40-70 forms per hour depending on skill level and how well the paper form was filled in. In 2013, for the first time ever, WA Health has had access to timely information about staff flu vaccination uptake and been able to compare staff flu vaccine orders with actual use.

CDCD, AHSs and WACHs will continue to collaborate to further refine these systems in future years.

Keywords

flu vaccination, centralisation, procurement, procedures

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