N.B. — This post is one in a series of ten, based on Becker’s Infection Control & Clinical Quality article 10 top patient safety issues for 2017 by Heather Punke & Brian Zimmerman and published on January 18, 2017 (http://patientsafetymovement.org/challenges-solutions/actionable-patient-safety-solutions-apss/).
“Vaccine coverage. Low adherence to immunization schedules resulted in outbreaks of preventable illnesses in 2016. Multiple mumps outbreaks brought cases of the resurgent virus to a 10-year high, according to the CDC. As of Dec. 3, 46 states and Washington, D.C., had reported 4,258 mumps cases combined.
Influenza is also largely preventable with a vaccine, but few Americans are vaccinated. Flu shots prevented an estimated 5 million illnesses and more than 70,000 hospitalizations in 2015, but the percentage of people inoculated against the potentially deadly virus remained low in 2016. Approximately two in five Americans received a flu shot this past year, which is comparable to the rate in 2015.
‘We have a tool that is proven to prevent flu illness and hospitalization but millions of people are not taking advantage of it. Too many people are unprotected,’ said Nancy Messonnier, MD, director of CDC’s [the USA Center for Disease Control and Prevention] National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.
Though misinformation surrounding vaccines remains abundant, the healthcare community must remain vigilant in educating patients and families about the protective power of vaccination in 2017.
To see the CDC’s immunization strategies for healthcare practices and providers, click here.”