Improvement in hospital Quality of Care (QoC) after the introduction of rotavirus vaccination: An evaluation study in Belgium

B Standaert, A Alwan, D Strens, M Raes, Maarten Postma

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During each winter period hospital emergency rooms and pediatric wards are often overwhelmed by high patient influx with infectious diseases leading to chaotic conditions with poor quality of care (QoC) delivery as a consequence. The conditions could be improved if we were able to better control the influx by introducing for instance better prevention strategies against some of the most frequent infectious diseases. New prevention strategies using vaccination against rotavirus infection were introduced in Belgium in November 2006. We developed a measure of hospital QoC suitable for assessing the impact of pediatric rotavirus vaccination. The study is retrospective collecting routine data on bed and staff management in one pediatric hospital in Belgium. The data were divided in pre- and post-vaccination periods during rotavirus-epidemic and non-epidemic periods. The scores were constructed using Explanatory Factor Analysis (EFA). All patients enrolled were admitted to the pediatric ward over the period from 1 January 2004 to 31 December 2009. The results of the epidemic period indicated that bed-day occupancy, bed-day turnover and unplanned readmissions for acute gastroenteritis were lower in the post-vaccination compared with the pre-vaccination periods. The QoC scores were therefore significantly lower (indicating improved QoC) after the introduction of rotavirus vaccination, compared with pre-vaccination. The data suggests that the reduction in the winter peak of rotavirus-related hospitalizations after the introduction of the vaccine reduces pressure on hospital resources and improves the quality of hospital care. The findings should be further tested in similar settings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2266-2273
Number of pages8
JournalHuman vaccines & immunotherapeutics
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 22-Apr-2015


  • rotavirus vaccination
  • staff management
  • bed management
  • hospital
  • pediatric
  • Quality of care

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