An ounce of prevention could be worth a billion dollars

Targeted prevention messages in waiting rooms boost flu vaccinations

We all know we should get a flu shot, but knowing and doing aren’t always the same thing. That’s the opportunity of engaging patients at the moment of care, where engagement can lead to action and positive outcomes.

The CDC estimates that flu vaccines prevented as many as 5 million flu instances, 2.5 million flu-associated medical visits, and over 70000 flu-related hospitalizations. On the flip side, the impact of contracting the flu virus accounted for well over $5 billion in health care and lost productivity costs, and as much as 80 percent of those losses were tied to people who chose not to get vaccinated.

In other words, the devastation a flu outbreak causes is real and material — and it’s almost entirely preventable. All we need is for patients to move from thinking about the flu vaccine to actually getting the flu vaccine.

Outcome Health’s platform engages patients at the moment of care to drive measurable improvements in health choices. In a recent study of the efficacy of its platform, Outcome measured the impact of its in-practice flu vaccine messages on patients. Seventy percent of patients who had seen the vaccine message received the vaccine on the day of their visit, or were likely to receive it in the future. The patients who saw the messages were 80% more likely to seek more information on the vaccine, and 86% more likely to talk to their doctor about the flu vaccine, than those who were not aware of the messaging.

Patients that were aware of the in-practice messages about the flu vaccine are significantly more likely than those not aware to either have received the flu vaccine that day or to schedule the vaccine in the future.