What are we tracking and why?
During influenza season (October through March), we track all patients aged 6 months and older who are hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) to determine if they were screened for, and when appropriate, offered the influenza vaccine prior to discharge.
Influenza (flu) is an acute, contagious infection of the nose, throat and lungs (respiratory illness) caused by influenza viruses. Each year, approximately 226,000 people are hospitalized due to complications from influenza and between 3,000 and 49,000 people die from influenza or its complications every year. The influenza vaccination is the most effective method for preventing the flu, and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)
recommends seasonal vaccination for everyone 6 months of age and older. One opportunity to ensure all patients are vaccinated against the flu is to screen for and administer the flu vaccine while patients are admitted to the hospital for any medical condition, including surgery or delivery of a baby.
How are we doing?
What are we doing to improve?
Influenza vaccination screening is a part of the inpatient admission process during the flu vaccination period. Patients 6 months and older, and their parent/guardian will be given the opportunity to receive the influenza vaccine if they have not yet been vaccinated for the current season.
In an effort to prevent seasonal influenza, we also conduct annual flu shot clinics to reach as many patients and family members as possible. These annual events include extensive communication and reminders about the importance of flu vaccination, and information about when and where the vaccines are available. These events are posted on flyers throughout our facility, and through our website and social media pages.
What can you do?
Beginning in September of each year, ask your or your child’s Primary Care Manager (PCM) about the availability of the flu vaccine.
If you get your vaccination from somewhere other than your PCM – such as through your employer or from a pharmacy – make sure to tell your PCM, so it can be documented in your medical record.
Remember that flu vaccination is recommended every year!
For more information, monitor our website and social media pages for the dates of the annual flu shot clinic at WRNMMC each year.