ACP advises all able healthcare providers be immunized against influenza, other conditions


The American College of Physicians (ACP) is taking its shot against this capacious, relentless influenza season by sanctioning a policy recommendation which stipulates that all healthcare providers (HCPs) — save those with medical reasons or religious objections — receive immunizations for not only the flu but diphtheria; hepatitis B; measles, mumps and rubella; pertussis; and varicella.

“These transmissible infectious diseases represent a threat to healthcare providers and the patients we serve, who are often highly vulnerable to infection,” said David L. Bronson, MD, FACP, president of the ACP, in a news release. “Proper immunization safely and effectively prevents a significant number of infections, hospitalizations and deaths among patients as well as preventing workplace disruption and medical errors by absent workers due to illness.”

Bronson, on behalf of the organization, was quick to note that the ACP endorses immunizations in conjunction with the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) Adult Immunization Schedule for all able adults, not just those employed within the medical field.

A mere 39 percent of adults reported receiving an influenza vaccine in 2011-2012. The ACP recommends that physicians speak to patients who cannot be vaccinated about various other methods to protect themselves from the ramping health threat.  

Resources to achieve this aim were listed by the ACP as follows:

  • ACP Adult Immunization Portal
  • ACP Guide to Adult Immunization
  • ACP Immunization Advisor mobile app
  • Medical Home Builder adult immunization module

Moreover, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued the ACP an initial installment of $175,000 from what will be a $525,000 grant to boost adult immunization rates to 80-90 percent — the federal aspiration — by 2020. The five foci states for the ACP include: Arizona, Delaware, Northern Illinois, Maryland and New York. Current immunization rates for each state can be viewed below.

 

All information and data from the American College of Physicians. Presentation by PhysBizTech.

Regarding the CDC grant initiative, Michael S. Barr, MD, FACP, MBA, who leads ACP’s Medical Practice, Professionalism & Quality division, said in a news release, “This program builds on prior ACP initiatives designed to improve health through encouraging appropriate immunization of adults. We hope to increase adult immunization rates at participating practices by at least 15 percent. With an estimated 750 to 1,000 physicians participating in the program, we expect to have a total patient pool of 1.5 to 2 million.”