Racial Inequalities In Health Care Are Being Addressed Via An Ohio State Flu Vaccination Program

Racial Inequalities In Health Care Are Being Addressed Via An Ohio State Flu Vaccination Program

COLUMBUS, OHIO (Newswire) – The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is working hard to address health care disparities and safeguard the health of all people, beginning with efforts to increase access to flu vaccinations.

 Based on the information issued by said Dr. Aaron Clark, a family medicine physician at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center and the medical director of the Ohio State Health Accountable Care Organization., immunization is essential for all communities that require maximum equal protection.

Racial Inequalities In Health Care Are Being Addressed Via An Ohio State Flu Vaccination Program

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as compared to the white population, Black and Hispanic individuals had greater rates of severe illness, hospitalization, and mortality from the flu and substantially lower rates of flu vaccine. During the 2019–2020 flu season, 53 percent of white individuals got the flu vaccine, whereas 41 percent of Black people and 38 percent of Hispanic people did not.

Racial Inequalities In Health Care Are Being Addressed Via An Ohio State Flu Vaccination Program

Clark further insists that there is a method to decrease that gap by improving access to vaccinations and addressing community concerns. That is certainly the correct thing to do.

Ohio State Wexner Medical Center doubled the number of flu shots it purchased in August 2020. They also developed new clinical processes to provide flu vaccinations in emergency departments and inpatient units. 

A team of nurses contacted people in targeted ZIP codes to promote flu vaccination and address patient concerns. In addition, the health system collaborated with community partners to conduct drive-through flu shot blitzes and pop-up flu shot clinics, and it deployed a mobile health unit to administer flu vaccinations in disadvantaged areas.

As a consequence of these initiatives, the emergency departments at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center will have given ten times as many flu vaccinations to non-white patients by March 2021 as they did during the 2019 – 2020 flu season. Following that, the academic medical institution will apply what it has learned to COVID-19 immunization and preventative measures such as diabetes checkups and cancer screenings.

According to Clark, the initiative where we rolled this out successfully was that a trusted individual was standing right next to the patient. The person answering their questions honestly and openly, without judgment or any preconceived notions about whether there was hesitancy or not around the immunizations. As a result, this is a step in the right direction.

One of the most effective methods to protect yourself and the people around you from sickness is to get a flu vaccine. Flu vaccinations and other preventative health services, on the other hand, are not provided or accessible equitably across racial groups. During the last flu season, 53 percent of the white population got flu vaccinations, but just 38 percent of Hispanics and 41 percent of Blacks did. 

Now, leaders at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center are addressing health care inequities deliberately and aggressively to close gaps and protect the health of as many people as possible across the communities they serve, beginning with initiatives to improve access to flu shots to encourage non-white patients to receive them.

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