Pneumonia is a common illness that can be serious or even life-threatening. Not all cases of pneumonia can be prevented, but through education for those we care for and assisting them to take certain measures, we can certainly reduce the prevalence and severity.
The flu is a common cause of pneumonia. As a healthcare community, it is important we encourage our patients to get a flu shot every year to prevent seasonal influenza. Preventing the flu is a great way to help prevent pneumonia. We must encourage adults 65 and older, adults 19-64 with chronic health conditions or risk factors (asthma, heart disease, diabetes, COPD, liver disease or a smoker) to get vaccinated against pneumococcal pneumonia.
There are several other vaccines that can prevent infections by bacteria and viruses that may lead to pneumonia, including pertussis (whooping cough), COVID-19, chicken pox, measles and RSV. Encourage all needed vaccines. As a healthcare community, we must also:
- Educate and encourage good hand washing. Teach the correct way how and when to wash hands to prevent the spread of germs.
- Encourage and educate on how to quit smoking and vaping. Tobacco users are considered one of the high-risk groups that are encouraged to get the pneumonia vaccine to help prevent pneumococcal pneumonia.
- Promote good health habits, such as healthy diet, rest and regular exercise. These can help people from getting sick from viruses and respiratory illnesses and can also promote faster recovery when a person does get a cold, influenza or other respiratory illness. Access the Life’s Essential 8 program developed by the American Heart Association for tips.
- Assist with how to manage existing health conditions, such as asthma, COPD, diabetes and heart disease.
- CDC Pneumococcal Vaccine Recommendations
- CDC Pneumococcal Vaccination: Information for Healthcare Professionals
- CDC PneumoRecs
- CDC VaxAdvisor Mobile App for Vaccine Providers
- CDC Pneumococcal Vaccine Timing for Adults Decision Diagrams
- HHS Pneumococcal Education
- CMS Head to Toe (H2T) Infection Prevention Toolkit
- CMS Medicare Part D Vaccines and Vaccine Administration
Great Plains QIN Resources
- Nursing Home Vaccination Change Package
- Pneumococcal Quality Measure MDS Coding Tips
- Electronic Vaccination Log – Excel File
- Pneumonia Poster: What Do We Have In Common?
May 2023 Friday Focus Series | Up Your Protection from Infections
- Week One: Sepsis I Recording
- Week Two: Pneumonia and Oral Care I Recording
- Week Three: UTI’s I Recording
- Week Four: Wound Infections I Recording
Listen to our Podcast – Q-Tips For Your Ears!