In-Hospital Flu Shots Associated With a 6.5% Reduction in Re-admissions

Hospital readmissions for community-acquired pneumonia can be reduced with influenza vaccination
doc with a stethoscope in hand
(Precision Vaccinations News)

A new study found that among adults admitted to a hospital with pneumonia, patients who received an influenza vaccination had a 6.5 percent lower chance of being readmitted.

"One striking fact that we also discovered in this study is that less than 2 percent of patients hospitalized with pneumonia received an influenza vaccine during their hospital stay, which indicates an underutilized service, with significant implications on hospital readmission and mortality," stated Kam Sing Ho, M.D., in a October 15, 2019, press release.

The co-occurrence of influenza and pneumonia has been well established, accounting for up to half of deaths during seasonal influenza in the United States.

"This study highlights the importance of implementing influenza vaccination, specifically in patients with a diagnosis of community-acquired pneumonia," commented Michelle Cao, M.D., Clinical Associate Professor at Stanford University.

"Influenza vaccination is considered a 'primary care-driven service,'" Dr. Cao continued. 

"The question is how best to develop practices that would ensure successful vaccination in the inpatient setting, specifically for patients admitted for community-acquired pneumonia.”

The researchers conducted a retrospective study of 735,120 hospital admissions for community-acquired pneumonia to understand the role of influenza vaccinations in reducing health care spending. 

They found that the in-hospital influenza vaccinations were given to 1.91% (13,983) of the patients admitted with pneumonia.

The investigators found that the overall 30-day rate of readmission was 11.9%. 

Nearly all return patients (81%) were readmitted with pneumonia. 

The readmitted patients had double the risk of dying (7.69%) than the index admissions (3.32%). 

Furthermore, a total of 489,247 hospital days was associated with readmission, and the total healthcare in-hospital economic burden was $1 billion in costs and $3.67 billion in charges.

Further results from this study will be shared at CHEST Annual Meeting 2019 in New Orleans on Monday, Oct. 21, 2:48 p.m. to 2:51 p.m., in Poster Area 1 of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center's Exhibit Hall. The study abstracts can be viewed on the journal CHEST® website.

The American College of Chest Physicians, publisher of the journal CHEST®, is the global leader in advancing best patient outcomes through innovative chest medicine education, clinical research, and team-based care. Its mission is to champion the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of chest diseases through education, communication, and research. 

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