Two Colorado Hospitals Are Exceptional at Giving Hepatitis B Birth Dose

This is a partner post from the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment.

Arkansas Valley Regional Medical Center in La Junta and Platte Valley Medical Center in Brighton are among 506 institutions that are honored by the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC). The Honor Roll recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that have achieved coverage rates of 90% or more for administering hepatitis B vaccine at birth. There are 9 institutions from Colorado that have qualified for the Honor Roll, since its inception in July, 2013.

Arkansas Valley RMC has consistently scored coverage rates of 91-95% for 7 of the last 8 years.

Platte Valley Medical Center in Brighton has been listed in the honor roll 5 times since it was accepted in 2013. Because of their outstanding efforts, from 01/01/2019 through 12/31/2019, the staff at PVMC achieved a birth dose coverage rate of 99%!

The criteria used to determine acceptance to the Birth Dose Honor Roll is listed below:

  • Achieve, over a 12-month period, a coverage rate of 90% or greater for administering hepatitis B vaccine before hospital discharge to all newborns (regardless of weight), including those whose parents refuse vaccination. (Newborns who are transferred to a different facility after birth due to medical problems do not need to be included in the denominator.)
  • Implement written policies, procedures, and protocols to protect all newborns from hepatitis B virus infection prior to hospital discharge.

Note: The following criteria are generally required, but exceptions may be made.

  • Inform parents about the importance of the hepatitis B vaccine birth dose and that it is recommended for all newborns.
  • All newborns routinely receive hepatitis B vaccine after birth, before hospital discharge.
  • A review is performed as to whether the correct screening test, hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), was ordered for the mother during this pregnancy.
  • The result of the mother’s HBsAg screening test is reviewed. It is best, if at all possible, that the policy calls for review of a copy of the original HBsAg test result, and not a transcribed or hand-entered report.
  • An HBsAg blood test is ordered ASAP if an incorrect test was ordered on the mother or if no test result is included on her chart.
  • Infants born to HBsAg-positive mothers receive hepatitis B vaccine and hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG) within 12 hours of birth.
  • Infants born to mothers whose HBsAg status is unknown receive hepatitis B vaccine within 12 hours of birth.
  • Infants who weigh less than 2,000 grams and are born to mothers whose HBsAg status is unknown receive HBIG (in addition to hepatitis B vaccine) within 12 hours of birth.
  • Routine newborn admission orders include a standing order to administer hepatitis B vaccine to all infants (similar to standing orders to administer Vitamin K and ophthalmic antibiotics).
  • Notification of the state or local health department’s perinatal hepatitis B prevention program is done prior to discharge (or as soon as known, if after discharge) for all mothers whose HBsAg test result is positive.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Immunization Branch and the Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Program would like to congratulate Arkansas Valley Regional Medical Center, Platte Valley Medical Center and their staff for their continued efforts to vaccinate newborns to prevent hepatitis B.

We encourage you to learn more about or apply to IAC’s Hepatitis B Birth Dose Honor Roll.