Does Influenza Vaccination Status Change Physician Ordering Patterns?

A study of hospitalized patients with acute respiratory illness (ARI) was conducted to see if demographic factors, timing, or influenza vaccination influenced those who underwent clinical respiratory virus panel (RVP) testing. The study sample included 171 participants in an influenza vaccination efficacy study and a sample of non-participants (N=1029) hospitalized to a community hospital with ARI from December 2015 to April 2016. Using Chi-square and t-tests, as well as logistic regression, those who got clinical RVP testing were compared to those who did not base on age, gender, influenza vaccination status, and time. 

The participants’ average age was 70 years, 58% were female, and 45% had an influenza vaccination during the 2015–2016 season. Those who had clinical RVP testing were substantially younger (67 years) than those who did not have RVP testing (71 years; < 0.001), but there was no difference in gender or immunization status. The probabilities of clinical RVP testing were substantially (P = 0.004)  associated with younger age (less than 65 years) (Odds ratio (OR) = 1.51; 95% CI = 1.14–2.00) and later period (peak/post peak influenza season; OR = 2.64; 95% CI = 1.84–3.79) but were unrelated to influenza vaccination status or the time-vaccination status interaction.  

RVP testing was considerably more common among younger hospitalized patients with an ARI, as well as at peak and post-peak influenza times than earlier in the season, although influenza vaccination status was not a significant influence.