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In-hospital flu shot reduced readmissions in pneumonia patients



– In-hospital flu shots were rare, yet linked to a lower readmission rate for patients hospitalized with community-acquired pneumonia in a recent retrospective study, suggesting a “missed opportunity” to improve outcomes for these patients, an investigator said.

Dr. Kam Sing Ho, Mount Sinai St. Luke's, New York Andrew D. Bowser/MDedge News

Dr. Kam Sing Ho

Less than 2% of patients admitted for community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) received in-hospital influenza vaccination, yet receiving it was linked to a 20% reduction in readmissions, according to investigator Kam Sing Ho, MD, a resident at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s, New York.

Those patients who were readmitted had a significantly higher death rate vs. index admissions, Dr. Ho said in a poster discussion session at the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians.

“I know (vaccines) are pretty much pushed out to the outpatient setting, but given what we showed here in this abstract, I think there’s a role for influenza vaccines to be a discussion in the hospital,” Dr. Ho said in his presentation.

The retrospective analysis was based on 825,906 adult hospital admissions with a primary diagnosis of CAP in data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). Of that large cohort, just 14,047 (1.91%) received in-hospital influenza vaccination, according to Dr. Ho.

In-hospital influenza vaccination independently predicted a lower risk of readmission (hazard ratio, 0.821; 95% confidence interval, 0.69-0.98; P less than .02) in a propensity score matching analysis that included 9,777 CAP patients who received the vaccination and 9,777 with similar demographic and clinical characteristics.

Private insurance and high-income status also predicted lower risk of readmission in the analysis, while by contrast, factors associated with higher risk of readmission included advanced age, Medicare insurance, and respiratory failure, among other factors, Dr. Ho reported.

The overall 30-day rate of readmission in the study was 11.9%, and of those readmissions, the great majority (about 80%) were due to pneumonia, he said.

The rate of death in the hospital was 2.96% for CAP patients who were readmitted, versus 1.11% for the index admissions (P less than .001), Dr. Ho reported. Moreover, readmissions were associated with nearly half a million hospital days and $1 billion in costs and $3.67 billion in charges.

Based on these findings, Dr. Ho and colleagues hope to incorporate routine influenza vaccination for all adults hospitalized with CAP.

“We’re always under pressure to do so much for patients that we can’t comprehensively do everything. But the 20% reduction in the risk of coming back, I think that’s significant,” Dr. Ho said in an interview.

The authors reported having no disclosures related to this research.

This article was updated 10/23/2019.

SOURCE: Ho KS, et al. CHEST 2019. doi: 10.1016/j.chest.2019.08.450.

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