Preventive Care

Staying healthy is called "preventive care". Because your chance of getting sick can be lessened by getting the right shots, getting the right checkups and making healthy choices, UnityPoint Health wants to help you understand what you can do to stay healthy. The more you know and the more you control your care, the healthier you will be. We feel it is important to give you chances to learn about being healthy, making healthy choices, and staying healthy. We offer classes and screenings in all locations. 

Flu and Pneumonia Prevention

If you have come in contact with someone who has the flu, you can pass it along even if you are feeling well. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say you should get a flu shot every year for two important reasons. First, every year new flu vaccines are made and changed to fight the three strains of the flu that are supposed to be the most common. Second, your ability to fight the flu from the shot you may have gotten last year declines over time so a yearly vaccination is necessary for the best results. 

Pneumonia and influenza together are ranked as the eighth leading cause of death in the United States according to the American Lung Association. Pneumonia is the reason for most of the deaths between the two and is the single largest cause of death in children under the age of 5 worldwide.

People at high risk for pneumonia are people over 65 years of age, the very young, and those with other health problems, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes mellitus, congestive heart failure and sickle cell anemia. People with sickness that impairs the immune system or people with other long term illnesses are also more likely to get sick with pneumonia. Getting a pneumococcal vaccine every year is the best way to stop the spread of the infection.

How is Preventive Care used to measure quality? 

The numbers here show the percentages of patients in the hospital who got either a pneumonia vaccine or an influenza vaccine if it was found to be the right treatment. This number is mostly focused on health of the community, to see that vaccines are helpful in keeping all of us healthy and that hospital patients are also protected from the threat of pneumonia and influenza.