Nursing

Website spotlight: Flu shot compliance varies among hospital, non-hospital, and EMS employees

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, November 8, 2012

It's that time of year again, when infection preventionists (IP) and safety officers begin to plan their ­annual employee flu shot campaign.

For many facilities, the challenges of improving compliance rates remain the same. Despite the typical approaches of making the vaccine free and readily ­available, IPs and safety officers still face cultural roadblocks and misperceptions surrounding influenza vaccination.

At the same time, many facilities have transitioned to a mandatory policy that requires all healthcare employees to get vaccinated as a condition of employment, with provisions for medical contraindications and religious reasons.

Three studies published this year have collected data evaluating compliance rates among hospital healthcare workers (HCW), non-hospital HCWs (outpatient and clinics), and EMS ­workers in the St. Louis region ­during the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 flu seasons. The studies also looked at H1N1 vaccine compliance during the 2009 outbreak when the H1N1 was a separate vaccination.

In general, the studies highlight areas of ­educational focus in terms of healthcare worker fears and misconceptions, as well as definitive data that shows a mandatory policy drastically improves compliance, says Terri ­Rebmann, PhD, RN, CIC, associate professor at the Institute for Biosecurity at the Saint Louis University School of Public Health and lead author of all three studies.

To read the rest of this FREE article, click here.

Editor’s note: To read more articles like this, visit the Reading Room, part of www.StrategiesForNurseManagers.com.

Most Popular