W. Delacruz, S. Terrazzino, M. Osswald
Sep 5, 2017
Journal of oncology practice
PURPOSE Patients with cancer are at increased risk for invasive pneumococcal disease, including community-acquired pneumonia. Current Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and National Cancer Comprehensive Network guidelines recommend pneumococcal vaccination for immunocompromised patients, including patients with cancer. METHODS We conducted a quality improvement (QI) project to enhance compliance with pneumococcal vaccination in patients before their chemotherapy. Baseline pneumococcal vaccination rates were gathered from July 2013 to June 2014. We reviewed the current guidelines for pneumococcal vaccinations in patients with cancer with physicians and encouraged them to prescribe the pneumococcal vaccination to patients before therapy. We also recruited our clinic nurse practitioner, who meets all patients for chemotherapy teaching, to prescribe the vaccine to patients younger than 65 years of age. RESULTS During the baseline period, of the 110 patients younger than 65 years who received chemotherapy, seven (6.4%) received the pneumococcal vaccine. Of the 90 patients (median age, 60 years; range, 20 to 86 years) who received chemotherapy during the study period, 58 were younger than 65 years, of whom three patients were already vaccinated before their diagnosis. Twenty-five (45.5%) patients were vaccinated through our QI project. We have improved our compliance with pneumococcal vaccination by 39% ( P < .001). CONCLUSION We have improved compliance with pneumococcal vaccination in patients with cancer receiving chemotherapy in our clinic through a QI project. We found that screening is best accomplished by a single person who is able to screen all patients. This practice is now a standard of care in our clinic.