SDW news brief: Mandatory flu shots gain traction as the future of influenza prevention

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, June 4, 2010

Every year, medical facilities plead with employees to get their annual influenza vaccinations. Some initiate campaigns as early as August, explaining the value of receiving the flu shot as well as the patient safety implications and worker safety benefits. But despite even the most rigorous efforts, medical facilities often struggle to get flu shot rates over 50%.

A CDC report published April 2 indicated that by mid-January, nearly 62% of healthcare workers had been vaccinated against seasonal influenza, although only 37% had been vaccinated against H1N1 influenza. In previous years, rates have never been above 49%.

Two particularly large hospital systems have taken on the challenge of implementing a mandatory flu shot policy within the past two years and have seen their compliance rates improve to as high as 98%. Although a mandatory policy eliminates the constant struggle to convince employees to get the shot, it's not without its own barriers.

To read the rest of the report and learn about the organizations' flu vaccination strategies, click here.

Source: HealthLeadersMedia

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