FAQ: Do patients have a right to insist on receiving care only from HCPs who are immunized against influenza?

Do patients have a right to insist on receiving care only from HCPs who are immunized against influenza? [FAQ Date: April 1, 2013]
First, we are not aware of specific legislation or state law which protects the right of patients to insist on a specific HCP immunization status. Second, we are not aware of medical literature which has explored this in any systematic way in terms of healthcare institutions providing this as an option for patients.

However, most healthcare institutions have adopted and enforce a “patient bill-of-rights” or similarly titled public commitment. Such formulations typically include a very high commitment  to patient safety, among other commitments and “rights.”

We believe there is a strong foundation for the expectation on the part of patients that HCPs providing them care are in good health (in this context, not reporting for work when they are evidencing ILI (Influenza-Like Illness) symptoms)), and are properly immunized against infectious diseases such as influenza to optimize patient safety.

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