A Simple, Proven Effective Framework to Build Flu Vaccine Uptake and Equity
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has dominated the public health lens, which has taken crucial attention away from the prevention of other seasonal respiratory illnesses like the flu. While the last two flu seasons have been mild, the ever-changing nature of these viruses hold the potential to cause an unpredictable – and potentially devastating – upcoming flu season.
Even more concerning are the widening racial and ethnic disparities in flu vaccination rates among people of color. Recent CDC data shows a 15% drop in flu vaccination rates among Hispanic adults (34%), and a 14% drop among Black, non-Hispanic adults (35.3%). These low coverage rates leave room for serious health consequences.
Healthcare providers must take every step they can to plan their flu immunization strategies early, given the high degree of unpredictability of flu and other viruses in the upcoming season. Additionally, the need to address health disparities and improve equity in flu vaccination in underserved communities is crucial, given people of color are more likely to experience severe flu-related complications. These complications may result in considerable and preventable costs to both patients and overburdened health systems.
NMQF’s Center for Sustainable Health Care Quality and Equity (SHC) is working to address these challenges through its Driving Real Improvement in Value and Equity (DRIVE) Toolkit. This free, interactive toolkit provides easy-to-use quality improvement project templates, engaging educational videos for team-based communication with patients, workflow guides, and various patient resources to create a customized plan to increase vaccination rates for all patients. Hundreds of clinicians nationwide have applied these tools, with measurable increases ranging from 20% to 90% in their target vaccination numbers.
Download the guide to learn more about DRIVE and how SHC experts can help your health system develop a customized flu vaccination plan.
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