effort to make Oklahoma hospitals safer for patients, the OHA Council on
Quality and Patient Safety is challenging hospitals to achieve a health care
worker influenza vaccination rate of 90 percent or higher
during the upcoming 2012-2013 flu season.
is a highly contagious disease that can be spread before symptoms appear and
results in about 150,000 hospital admissions and 24,000 deaths annually. Hospitalized
patients are particularly vulnerable to the dangers of influenza because their
immune systems are often compromised by the illness that caused their admission
or the treatments they are undergoing.
of health care workers (HCWs) has been shown to prevent illness and death in
patients, and reduce influenza infections and absenteeism among HCWs. While the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended annual
vaccination of HCWs since 1981, only about half of HCWs in the U.S. are
years, more and more hospitals and health care organizations are putting into
place policies making seasonal influenza vaccinations mandatory for employees,
affiliated medical staff, students, volunteers and contract workers as part of
their commitment to patient safety. These policies often have resulted in
vaccination rates above 90 percent.
For help in
this effort, access the OHA “Improving Health Care Worker Influenza Vaccination
Toolkit” at www.okoha.com/vaccinationtoolkit.
that achieve a 90 percent employee vaccination rate by Dec. 31, 2012, will
receive recognition in Hotline, as well as a statewide press release and a
certificate that you can display in your hospital.
hospitals in Oklahoma have implemented a mandatory vaccination program that
resulted in rates near 100 percent. They have said that before implementation,
they had many concerns that did not come to fruition. A key was clear and
important reason for hospitals to assure a high rate of flu vaccination is that
in 2013 hospitals will be required to report their health care worker influenza
vaccination rates as a measure for CMS quality reporting. Once a measure is
publicly reported, it becomes eligible for the value based purchasing program.
the toolkit today and plan now to meet the OHA 90 percent challenge.