BACKGROUND Influenza immunisation confers benefits for the elderly. We attempted to increase the uptake of influenza vaccination in those aged 65 years and over in one general practice in Queensland.
METHOD We used four strategies: a computer search for the target population; telephone recruitment and booking by our receptionist; removal of cost by bulk billing; and using nurse led immunisation. We measured 2004 and 2005 influenza immunisation rates to determine a before and after difference, and sent a questionnaire to patients refusing vaccination.
RESULTS We increased the influenza vaccination rate among 580 patients aged 65 years and over from 77% in 2004 to 83% in 2005 (national rate 79% in 2004). The refusal rate was 10%.
DISCUSSION Influenza immunisation rates improved using a targeted approach. Nurse immunisers seemed to be efficient and offered a saving of doctors' time.