When Morningside at the Meadows, a senior living community in San Antonio, Texas, noticed a low COVID-19 vaccination rate among its residents, the facility spent five months going through records to document residents who had and had not been vaccinated against the virus that causes COVID-19. Morningside used outside staffing help, educational materials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vaccine champions and follow-up interviews to encourage residents to get vaccinated. Due to these successful interventions, all current Morningside residents are up to date with the updated COVID-19 bivalent vaccine.
“This affected all of our population,” said Fahim Faqier, assistant director of nursing (ADON) at Morningside. “[Quality improvement] was a team effort; with the majority of our team being staffed nurses, we also used PRN nurses.” Morningside was able to develop their own PRN pool agency within their organization to bring in as-needed nurses to help look at immunization records, contact hospitals to make sure residents received the vaccine and follow-up with the residents after vaccinations. They made the intervention process more efficient by using clear and consistent communication when implementing Morningside’s vaccination agenda during the admissions process.
Once Morningside staff identified residents without vaccination records, the residents were asked if they had received the COVID-19 vaccine. If they had, the staff tracked down the records and made sure they were updated to reflect each resident’s current vaccination status. If they were not vaccinated, staff provided the residents with resources to help educate them on the benefits of receiving the vaccine.
Based on monthly outreach, a TMF Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) specialist was able to determine the types of educational resources needed to help Morningside staff gain a general idea of what vaccination information should be shared with residents and family members. During the outreaches, TMF would speak with the ADON about why residents were hesitant to get the vaccine and sources that the facility used. Vaccine champions within the organization were also used to further encourage vaccination.
“We will continue to improve by using Quality Assurance Performance Improvement [QAPI] practices,” Faqier said. “Every month, we will look to see why things are happening and how we can make it better. We are going to be proactive to provide the best care for residents.”
Verbal conversations and written information regarding the benefits of vaccines proved to be the most effective methods for raising the vaccination rate at Morningside. “In addition, getting to know our residents and their family members and building trust in these relationships also showed to be effective,” said Faqier. Morningside’s intervention on its low vaccination rate highlighted the importance of being an advocate, following up on documentation and asking questions to provide the best care for residents.
To find out how a TMF QIN-QIO specialist can assist your nursing facility with challenges related to COVID-19 and vaccinations, email QIInetwork@tmf.org.