Boosting the uptake of the influenza vaccine in diabetics in general practice
Authors Dovedi VK, Iyer AK
Received 27 April 2018
Accepted for publication 5 October 2018
Published 21 November 2018 Volume 2018:10 Pages 33—39
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single-blind
Peer reviewers approved by Dr Cristina Weinberg
Peer reviewer comments 2
Editor who approved publication: Professor Ming-Hui Zou
Vishaal Kumar Dovedi, Anita Kanya Iyer
Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Whitechapel, London, UK
Purpose: Diabetes has become the largest modern-day epidemic the developed world has ever seen. Approximately 3.5 million people in the UK live with the chronic condition. The primary aim of this audit was to assess the effect of increased patient notification on the uptake of the influenza vaccine in diabetic patients in an urban general practitioner practice. Our secondary aims involved identifying the intervention that increased the uptake by the greatest margin and addressing any barriers to uptake.
Patients and methods: The audit was carried out across a 7-week period. It involved carrying out various forms of patient notification including telephone calls and emails in a population of 393 diabetic patients who were yet to have the flu vaccine, after which the outcomes of their implementation were analyzed.
Results: Comparing pre-audit and post-audit figures, there was a 20% increase in the number of patients vaccinated against the flu across just a 7-week period. Calling patients with a pre-written script, proved to be the most effective form of patient notification.
Conclusion: The data demonstrate that notifying diabetic patients who require the flu vaccine is beneficial. This can have a wider purpose for other health care interventions in a variety of patient groups. Our findings have the potential to be relevant to all general practices looking to increase their percentage uptake of the flu vaccine in order to achieve or surpass Quality and Outcomes Framework targets. It is particularly pertinent for practices with diabetic patients or that face difficulties communicating with patients effectively.
Keywords: general practice, diabetes, influenza vaccine, public health
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