3 Easy Ways to Improve Flu Shot Rates with Ocean

With the fall fast approaching, it’s time for us to start planning ahead for flu season.
As family doctors, we are tasked with maximizing influenza immunization rates for our patient population each year. Since it is such a simple, safe, and effective intervention, the provincial government even pays us a bonus depending on the percentage of our eligible patients who have been immunized.

Achieving this targets is challenging: some patients prefer to avoid needles; some are concerned based on misconceptions; others simply don’t make it into the clinic during the flu season. During a busy clinic, we sometimes even forget to offer the shot in the first place. Consequently, we often miss our targets, and we spend considerable office resources contacting patients to come in for their shot.

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Thanks to Ocean, this task can be made a lot easier. Here are a few key ways Ocean can use automation to help to improve flu shot rates in your clinic this year:


Put a Reminder on your Welcome Page

Update your welcome screen on your tablets to remind people to get their flu shot and include details such as dates and times for any specific flu shot clinics you might be hosting. This can be easily done from the Tablets tab in the Ocean Portal, by editing the “Introduction” in your tablet group.


Send Secure Email Reminders Before Appointments

Ocean Online makes it easy to send your patients a secure email reminder about flu shots before their appointment. This can include educational material and a few brief questions, including whether they have already received the shot elsewhere; whether they would like to receive the flu shot; and in the case of patients that are declining to have the shot, you can gently prompt them to indicate why. Ocean also allows you to send batch secure email invitations to all your patients that have not yet received the shot.


Set a Rule to Automatically Ask Patients About the Flu Shot on the Tablet

You can set up a rule in Ocean to automatically display a Flu shot invitation on an Ocean Tablet to patients that a) have not already received the shot, and b) have not responded to an online invitation. By including an option to say “I’ve already received my shot somewhere else”, you can even track patients that may have attended a flu shot clinic at their workplace, a pharmacy, or elsewhere.

Since all Ocean form responses are tracked in the EMR, you can automatically display your patient responses to the flu shot invitation in BOLD coloured text, so your clinic is much less likely to forget to give them one while they are in the office.