Objective To avoid preventable consequences of perinatal hepatitis B infection, all infants should be given hepatitis B vaccine (HBV) within 24 hours of birth if birth weight is ≥2 kg and at 30 days of life or at discharge if <2 kg, to provide highest seroprotection rates while ensuring universal vaccination prior to discharge. We aimed to achieve timely HBV administration in >80% of eligible infants in both birthweight groups and decrease infants discharged home without receiving HBV to <1% over an 18-month period and sustain results for an additional 15 months.
Methods Data were collected from June 2016 to May 2020 in a level III neonatal intensive care unit. A multidisciplinary team identified barriers and interventions through Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles from September 2017 to February 2019: using pharmacists as champions, overcoming legal barriers, staff education and best practice alerts (BPAs) embedded in electronic health records. Statistical process control (SPC) p charts were used to evaluate the primary outcome measure, monthly percentage of infants receiving timely HBV administration stratified by birthweight categories (≥2 and <2 kg). For infants receiving HBV outside the time frame, absolute difference of timeliness was calculated.
Results Mean timely HBV administration improved from 45% to 95% (≥2 kg) and from 45% to 85% (<2 kg) with special cause variation in SPC charts. Infants discharged without receiving HBV decreased from 4.6% to 0.22%. Of those given HBV outside the recommended time frame, median absolute time between recommended and actual administration time decreased significantly: from 3.5 days (IQR 1.6, 8.6) to 0.3 day (IQR 0.1, 0.8) (p<0.001) in ≥2 kg group and from 6 days (IQR 1, 15) to 1 day (IQR 1, 6.5) (p=0.009) in <2 kg group.
Conclusions Using a multidisciplinary approach, we significantly improved and sustained timely HBV administration and nearly eliminated infants discharged home without receiving HBV. Pharmacists as champions and BPAs were critical to our success.
- control charts
- run charts
- quality improvement
- hospital medicine
Data availability statement
Data are available upon reasonable request. Please contact the corresponding author to discuss the feasibility of obtaining access to a deidentified data set.
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Contributors MH conceptualised and designed the study and data collection method, collected data, carried out the initial analyses and interpretation, drafted the initial manuscript and reviewed and revised the manuscript. TRG interpreted the data and reviewed and revised the manuscript for important intellectual content. SS conceptualised and designed the study, collected data and reviewed and revised the manuscript. TS conceptualised and designed the study and reviewed and revised the manuscript. GR collected data, analysed and interpreted the data and reviewed and revised the manuscript for important intellectual content. All authors approved the final manuscript as submitted and agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.