Quality Insights to Improve Immunizations

4/28/2015

Quality Insights Quality Innovation Network has been awarded a new project by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to improve influenza and pneumococcal immunization rates in four states:  Louisiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Under the project, Quality Insights will collaborate with a wide range of health care providers, government and non-profit agencies, and consumer groups to increase the number of people with Medicare who get recommended immunizations, including those for pneumonia and the flu. A key focus of the project will be on reducing immunization healthcare disparities. 

“It is so important that those at the greatest risk for illness or disease are protected by the necessary immunizations,” says Quality Insights Quality Innovation Network Director Rebecca Cochran, MSN, RN, CPHQ. “Our efforts will include a special focus on breaking down barriers to ensure that racial and ethnic minority populations receive equal care and access to immunizations.”

To support the project’s goals, Quality Insights will create Learning and Action Networks across the four states and at the local level. Participants will come together to receive education on best practices, share successes and lessons learned, and collaborate on implementing new strategies. Quality Insights will also participate in and coordinate with established immunization initiatives at the local level. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year thousands of adults in the U.S. suffer serious illness, are hospitalized, and even die due to disease for which vaccines are available. Vaccines have greatly reduced or eliminated many infectious diseases that once routinely killed or harmed many infants, children and adults. Additionally, Medicare covers several immunizations including annual flu shots, lifetime pneumonia vaccines and the Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, & pertussis) shot.