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Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2007 May 15;64(10):1096-102.

Designing and implementing a hospital-based vaccine standing orders program.

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Department of Pharmacy and Therapeutics, School of Pharmacy, University of Pittsburgh (UP), PA 15241, USA.



An inpatient pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV) vaccination program was designed and implemented to meet federal and state regulatory requirements and national vaccination goals.


In 2002, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services published a final rule removing the federal requirement for an individual patient physician-signed order for the pneumococcal and influenza vaccines in Medicare- and Medicaid- participating hospitals. This statute authorized implementation of standing orders programs (SOPs) in health care institutions. At the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center-Presbyterian (UPMC-P), institutional vaccination rates and the existing mechanism for providing adult vaccinations were evaluated. At the peak of the program's effectiveness in 2000, in-hospital total vaccination rates were 31%; those rates fell to 15% by the end of 2003. To rectify this poor rate of vaccination, a multidisciplinary team convened to evaluate the existing program and to design the tools and processes for a conversion to a vaccine SOP. A standing order form was designed, and it was determined that the SOP should be pharmacy driven. As a result of the SOP, the PPV vaccination rate increased dramatically; in 2005, the average rate was 69%, with the highest rate occurring in March 2005 (87%).


The cooperative effort of a multidisciplinary work group including physicians, nursing staff, and pharmacy personnel led to the creation of a successful inpatient PPV SOP. Analysis of the previous vaccination program and careful planning were instrumental in designing the SOP. Defined responsibilities for daily performance and user-friendly tools with clear instructions were also crucial to the success of the program.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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