Educational intervention helps pharmacists achieve the World Health Organization’s vaccination target through virtual consultation
Toronto, April 9, 2021 – Think Research (TSXV: Think) or (the “Company” or “Think”), a company focused on transforming healthcare through integrated digital software solutions, today announced new findings that show pharmacists can encourage up to 67 per cent of vaccine-hesitant patients aged 65 and older to get their influenza shot through a virtual educational consultation, helping reach the World Health Organization’s influenza vaccine target of 75 per cent.
The project, developed by MDBriefCase, a member of the Think family of companies, further demonstrates the importance of ensuring healthcare providers are the front line in building vaccine confidence in older adults across Canada.
Managing Director at Think and former MDBriefCase CEO Jason Flowerday said “The prevalence of vaccine disinformation is rising. There is an urgent need for healthcare providers to address patient concerns in a clear and understandable way. In keeping with our mission to support best-practice care, we are committed to creating visibility for the outcomes of this project as part of our larger effort to deliver digital healthcare solutions that increase vaccine confidence around the world.”
After completing an educational course on combating vaccine hesitancy hosted by MDBriefCase, the leading provider of continuing medical education, pharmacists called 643 adults over the age of 65 who had not received their annual influenza vaccination from their usual practitioner. Out of these patients, 169 had been vaccinated in another setting, and of the remaining patients, 67 per cent agreed to get their flu shot by the end of the telephone consultation. In total, 75.4 per cent ultimately received their flu vaccine in the 2019-2020 season.
The findings were recently published in medical journal Vaccines, and highlight the significant role pharmacists play in achieving the World Health Organization’s influenza vaccine target of 75 per cent in people 65 and older.
Professor David Strain, head of the department of geriatric medicine at the U.K.’s University of Exeter Medical School and lead author of the publication said, “The need to address vaccine hesitancy has never been higher with the potential ‘double whammy’ of influenza and COVID-19 variants likely to be in circulation this autumn. Vaccination remains the most effective strategy at reducing hospitalizations and saving lives.”
Professor William Fisher of the University of Western Ontario and senior author of the paper said, “The majority of those who do not receive their vaccination are not anti-vax, rather just have doubts that can be addressed with a proactive approach.”
“There is a critical need for efficient and effective outreach to ensure sufficient levels of vaccination coverage and activation of the pharmacist-client linkage is, as we have demonstrated, both efficient and effective in bringing vaccination to those who need it.”
Mike Boivin, co-author and consultant pharmacist who helped develop this program said, “Pharmacists are playing an increasingly important role in delivering all immunizations. We found that with this short intervention, that can easily be integrated into their practice, pharmacists can significantly increase the uptake of important adult vaccines. This proof-of-concept study justifies further global evaluation of the role of pharmacists in improving immunization rates of at-risk populations from this and many other diseases.”
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Contact: Genevieve Tomney, VP, Communications, Think Research, Direct: 416.460.5784, firstname.lastname@example.org
About Think Research Corporation
Think Research is an industry leader in delivering knowledge-based digital healthcare solutions. The Company’s focused mission is to organize the world’s health knowledge so everyone gets the best care. Its evidence-based healthcare technology solutions support the clinical decision-making process, standardize care, and improve patient outcomes. For over a decade, Think Research’s cloud-based, EMR-agnostic digital tools have empowered clinicians around the world and positively impacted millions of patients across the continuum of care – including primary physician care, acute care hospitals and surgical suites as well as community and seniors care. Think Research is proud to serve as a trusted health system partner to a rapidly growing, global client base that spans five continents and more than 2,800 healthcare facilities.
MDBriefCase Group Inc., a recent addition to the Think Research family, specializes in developing online, accredited and unaccredited continuing professional development for healthcare professionals. The company partners with prestigious regional and international medical associations to ensure its innovative education programs reflect the local experiences of healthcare professionals around the world. Its programs are peer-reviewed by clinical specialists to ensure balance and applicability to practice. Over 250,000 healthcare professionals have access to the latest evidence-based information and guidelines to improve local patient care. For more information, visit the MDBC’s website at: www.mdbriefcase.com.