Flu & Pneumonia Evaluation Measures
Once a company has conducted assessment and planning for adult immunization programs, and developed the specific tasks of implementation for these programs, it is time to develop the evaluation plan. This evaluation plan should be in place before any program implementation has begun.
Metrics for worker productivity, health care costs, heath outcomes, and organizational change allow measurement of the beginning (baseline), middle (process), and results (outcome) of workplace health programs. It is not necessary to use all these metrics for evaluating programs. Some information may be difficult or costly to collect, or may not fit the operational structure of a company. These lists are only suggested approaches that may be useful in designing an evaluation plan.
These measures are designed for employee group assessment. They are not intended for examining an individual’s progress over time, which would raise concerns of employee confidentiality. For employer purposes, individual-level measures should be collected anonymously and only reported (typically by a third party administrator) in the aggregate, because the company’s major concerns are overall changes in productivity, health care costs, and employee satisfaction.
In general, data from the previous 12 months will provide sufficient baseline information and can be used in establishing the program goals and objectives in the planning phase, and in assessing progress toward goals in the evaluation phase. Ongoing measurements every 6 to 12 months after programs begin are usually appropriate measurement intervals, but measurement timing should be adapted to the expectations of the specific program.
Vaccine-preventable diseases are infectious diseases that can be prevented by immunization (vaccination). Traditionally, vaccines have been associated with protecting young children, but far too many adults become ill, are disabled, and die each year from diseases that could easily have been prevented by vaccines. Vaccines not only prevent disease in the people who receive them but often create “herd immunity,” meaning that even unvaccinated individuals are at lower risk of disease if most of their community is immunized. Everyone from young adults to older adults can benefit from immunizations.
Among vaccine-preventable diseases in adults, influenza has the greatest impact in the U.S. population.
- An average of 36,000 deaths and over 200,000 hospitalizations associated with influenza occur each year in the United States1-2
- The combination of influenza and pneumonia was the eighth leading cause of death among all persons in the United States in 2005, accounting for 63,000 deaths3
- The overall national economic burden of influenza-attributable illness for adults, age 18 years and above is $83.3 billion. Direct medical costs for influenza in adults totaled $8.7 billion including $4.5 billion for adult hospitalizations resulting from influenza-attributable illness4
- Influenza is also responsible for substantial indirect costs ($6.2 billion annually), mainly from lost productivity. Each year, among adults age 18 to 64 years, 17 million workdays are lost to influenza-related illness4
1. Thompson WW, Shay DK, Weintraub E, et al. Mortality associated with ininfluenzaenza and respiratory syncytial virus in the United States. JAMA. 2003; 289:179-186.
2. Thompson WW, Shay DK, Weintraub E, et al. Ininfluenzaenza-associated hospitalizations in the United States. JAMA. 2004; 292:1333-1340.
3. National Center for Health Statistics. Health, United States, 2007, with chartbook on trends in the health of Americans. Hyattsville, MD: 2007.
4. Molinari NA, Ortega-Sanchez IR, Messonnier ML, Thompson WW, Wortley PM, Weintraub E, Bridges CB. The annual impact of seasonal ininfluenzaenza in the US: measuring disease burden and costs. Vaccine. 2007; 25(27):5086-96. Epub 2007 Apr 20.