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Estimated costs associated with improving influenza vaccination for health care personnel in a multihospital health system.

Abstract

Health care personnel (HCP) are an important target group for influenza vaccination because of their close contact with vulnerable patients. Annual influenza vaccination for HCP is recommended to reduce the spread of influenza and decrease staff illness and absenteeism. UPMC Health System, the largest health system in western Pennsylvania, established a quality improvement project to increase influenza vaccination among its > 50,000 employees by implementing survey-informed interventions. At the completion of the intervention, estimates were prepared of the costs associated with implementing a multifaceted quality improvement intervention to improve HCP influenza vaccination rates in a large multihospital health system.

The average costs per vaccinated employee ranged from $24.55 to $30.43 for incentives and carts, $20.66 to $25.57 for incentives, $23.24 to $26.54 for carts, and $18.03 to $20.60 for education and publicity only. Vaccination rates increased significantly but remained below ideal levels.

Influenza vaccination rates among nonphysician HCP can be improved using various interventions at a low cost per vaccinated employee. The costs for these nonmandatory interventions were modest compared with the costs typically associated with influenza-related absenteeism.

All 11 participating hospitals provided education and publicity regarding influenza vaccination and provided vaccine free of charge at mass vaccination clinics. Two additional strategies-mobile vaccination carts and incentives-were implemented in a factorial design such that the hospitals had either carts, incentives, both strategies, or neither. The minimum and maximum costs per vaccinated employee by type of intervention were estimated using cost data for vaccine/supplies, labor, incentives, and administration.

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