From the 2019 HVPAA National Conference
Ms. Jasmine Jordan (Florida State University College of Medicine), Ms. Paige Blinn (Florida State University College of Medicine), Mr. Kevin Gil (Florida State University College of Medicine), Ms. Megan Rivera (Florida State University College of Medicine)
Pertussis is a highly contagious, potentially deadly disease that is vaccine preventable. Although vaccines against pertussis are widely available, many people go without. In a previous quality improvement project conducted at the Sarasota County Department of Health (SCDH) by the Florida State University College of Medicine (FSU COM) student team, it was proposed that a lack of education was the main reason for low vaccination rates.
In this quality improvement study, we investigated if increasing community awareness would improve the utilization of free Tdap vaccinations among pregnant women and their close contacts at the SCHD.
Using the “Plan-Do-Check-Act” model, pregnant mothers in their third trimester at two obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN) offices and newly postpartum mothers at one pediatric office were targeted. Additionally, all close contacts of newborns were targeted. Participants were given an educational flyer regarding Pertussis and a voucher in the form of a “prescription pad” to redeem at the SCDH for a free vaccination. Within the SCDH, the vouchers were already being distributed to internal OB/GYN patients and these patients were included in this project. After distributing the flyers and vouchers for 3-6 months, the staff of the external community offices were surveyed using a questionnaire to assess the effectiveness of utilizing these handout materials.
From October to December 2018, when our project was implemented, 83 pregnant mothers and 56 close contacts received the Tdap vaccination at the SCDH. From January to March 2019, 51 pregnant mothers and 21 close contacts received the vaccination at the SCDH. These numbers represent the efforts of both the internal OB/GYN office at SCDH and the external community offices. However, the data regarding the contribution of the external community clinics was difficult to interpret due to the SCDH transitioning to Centerplace Health, a private Federally Qualified Health Center. The utilization of the feedback questionnaire provided valuable insight into the effectiveness of the educational flyers and free vaccine vouchers.
This Quality Improvement project found that Tdap vaccine utilization at the SCHD was likely higher among patients referred from the internal OB/GYN clinic. The project elucidated the benefits and challenges associated with implementing a quality improvement intervention from a satellite location. Using the PDCA model, the QI group was able to identify several areas for improvement while the surveys gathered from community offices provided invaluable feedback for future direction.
In the future, more intensive staff education needs to take place to ensure consistency and replicability among all Tdap providers.