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Championing Patient Safety through Mandatory Influenza Vaccination for All Healthcare Personnel and Affiliated Physicians

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2015

Lynne V. Karanfil
Affiliation:
MedStar Health, Columbia, Maryland
Jan Bahner
Affiliation:
MedStar Health, Columbia, Maryland
Joan Hovatter
Affiliation:
Union Memorial Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland
William L. Thomas
Affiliation:
MedStar Health, Columbia, Maryland
Corresponding

Abstract

Objective.

To determine whether a mandatory seasonal influenza vaccination program will increase vaccination rates among healthcare personnel (HCP) and affiliated physicians.

Setting.

MedStar Health is a not-for-profit regional healthcare organization that includes 9 hospitals with approximately 25,000 HCP and approximately 4,000 affiliated physicians. HCP describes any person employed by MedStar Health.

Methods.

With previous vaccination rates parallel to reported national rates of 54% among HCP, MedStar Health introduced a mandatory seasonal influenza vaccination program promulgated during the 2009–2010 influenza season. HCP and affiliated physicians were given an opportunity to apply for medical or religious exemptions. Noncompliant HCP were terminated. Noncompliant physicians had their privileges administratively suspended for the influenza season.

Results.

HCP compliance (vaccinated and exempt) was 99.9%. The influenza vaccination rate among HCP was 98.5%. There were 338 approved medical exemptions and 18 approved religious exemptions. Only 0.01% of HCP (9 full-time, 2 part-time, and 17 per diem employees) were terminated. Overall, 93% of the affiliated physicians were vaccinated; 7 religious and 99 medical exemptions were granted. In total, 149 physicians (4%) had their admitting privileges suspended during the influenza season.

Conclusion.

A mandatory influenza vaccination program achieves high rates of vaccination among HCP and affiliated physicians.

Type
Original Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America 2011

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