February 25, 2014

Studio Shot of a Mixed Age, Multiethnic Group of Men and Women Standing in a Line

NFID hosted a successful inaugural Twitter chat on 2/20/14 to discuss the new National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC) Standards for Adult Immunization Practice. With 50 tweets from nearly 20 contributors, the estimated reach of the chat was approximately 5,000 accounts and 29,000 impressions. Highlights of the discussions follow.

Topic 1 focused on how healthcare professionals (HCPs) could best ASSESS the immunization status of adult patients. Many great suggestions were shared, including the use of electronic health records with pop-ups reminders about patient vaccination needs/status. Every patient visit represents an opportunity to check vaccination status.

The chat continued with Topic 2, a discussion of how HCPs can best SHARE strong vaccine recommendations with adult patients. All HCPs need to be strong advocates for vaccines and should also lead by example by being fully vaccinated themselves.

Topic 3 addressed ways that HCPs can overcome challenges in ADMINISTERING vaccines. In this case, the immunization neighborhood can be a real help. Suggestions included working with local health departments and/or pharmacies to assist with administering vaccines. Discussion tied closely with Topic 4, how HCPs can best REFER patients to local providers for vaccines they don’t stock. Working with others in the immunization neighborhood can help ensure that patients get all of the vaccines they need, even if HCPs don’t offer them in their practice.

Topic 5 asked “What can HCPs do to DOCUMENT and confirm receipt of recommended vaccines?” A discussion followed around the effective use of immunization information systems, or registries. Participants stressed the importance of all HCPs using state registries to report when vaccines are administered. Others suggested that registries be “patient-owned” and ‘opt-out’ rather than ‘opt-in.’

Finally, there was a general call for resources to help HCPs understand and implement the new standards. Suggested resources include:

Thank you to everyone who participated! To view all tweets from the chat, search for the hashtag #NFIDchat on Twitter. And let us know of any topics you’d like to see covered in future NFID Twitter chats.

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