Introduction: Pneumococcus is a common bacterium that can cause serious infections, such as pneumonia, meningitis or blood stream infection in patients receiving immunosuppressive therapy. Infection by pneumococcus bacteria can be life-threatening leading to hospitalizations, complications and even death. In this work we have established a system base intervention that provides pneumococcal vaccine (Prevenar 13) for patients before starting chemotherapy and/or biological treatment.

Methods: The intervention program included a set of measures: 1. Standard operating procedure (SOP) for vaccination of patients with hematological disorders. 2. Increasing the awareness of the medical and nursing staff regarding the importance of administering the vaccine before chemotherapy/biological treatments. 3. Purchasing vaccines by the hospital. 4.Coaching patients about the importance of receiving the vaccine before starting treatment. 5. Building a computerized record for monitoring and controlling the administration of the vaccine before starting treatment. 6. Transferring the information about the vaccine to the patient outpatient providers. 7. Documentation of the vaccine in the patient's electronic medical record. 8. Monthly review of new patients and vaccination before starting treatment.

Results: In 2015, before intervention, only about 25% of patients were vaccinated appropriately against pneumococcus. With the start of the quality improvement project in April 2016, there was a gradual increase in the number of vaccinated patient before starting treatment. In December 2016, all new patients before starting treatment were properly vaccinated against pneumococcus. Although there was a significant increase in the number of patients at the institute in 2017 there was a 35% decrease in the number of patients hospitalized for pneumonia or sepsis compared to 2015. In addition, there was a 41% decrease in the number of hospitalizations with pneumonia or sepsis in the institute's patients. There was also a significant trend towards decrease in mortality (11% vs. 7%).

Conclusions: The intervention program included: The creation of cooperation at several levels, medical, nursing and pharmacological that created cooperation between the medical center and the outpatient community clinics which led to the creation of a system that ensures that the patient will be vaccinated prior to starting immunosuppressive therapy. As a result of the intervention at the Institute and the data that was examined over 3 years, there has been a significant decrease in the rate of hospitalizations of patients due to pneumonia or sepsis.


No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.