Influenza outbreaks place a significant annual burden on the Australian healthcare system. There is well documented evidence that increasing rates of influenza vaccination, especially amongst high risk patients will decrease the number of confirmed cases of influenza, reduce hospital admissions, associated costs and death. Despite this, under usage of immunisation programs continues to be a significant public health concern with inadequate time to attend a venue for vaccination being identified as a significant contributor to less than ideal vaccination rates.
The Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital pharmacy service has input into ambulatory outpatient services, making it ideal for providing opportunistic vaccinations to patients in a hospital outpatient setting. The aim was to investigate the impact of such a service on increasing access for high-risk patients to receive their annual influenza vaccination.