Policy

Our campaign is using the Healthy People 2020 benchmark for HCW flu vaccination as the anchor benchmark.

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The presentation here [PADOH_HCW Flu Vax Program_Policy Module_June 2011]
– reviews current public health policy recommendations around mandatory HCW seasonal influenza vaccination
– provides a brief look at PA Patient Safety Authority data on impact of mandatory programs in PA NHs
– includes current Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health-Care Organizations

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Below are some key recommendations which speak to mandatory HCW flu vaccination programs for reference.

These recommendations are discussed further in the presentation:

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Recommendation for Mandatory Influenza Immunization of All Health Care Personnel
Henry H. Bernstein, DO, Jeffrey R. Starke, MD and Committee on Infectious Diseases
October 2010
Abstract
The purpose of this statement is to recommend implementation of a mandatory influenza immunization policy for all health care personnel. Immunization of health care personnel is a critically important step to substantially reduce health care–associated influenza infections. Despite the efforts of many organizations to improve influenza immunization rates with the use of voluntary campaigns, influenza coverage among health care personnel remains unacceptably low. Mandatory influenza immunization for all health care personnel is ethically justified, necessary, and long overdue to ensure patient safety.

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2010-11 Influenza Prevention & Control Recommendations – Additional Information about Vaccination of Specific Populations
All HCP and persons in training for health-care professions should be vaccinated annually against influenza. Persons working in health-care settings who should be vaccinated include physicians, nurses, and other workers in both hospital and outpatient-care settings, medical emergency–response workers (e.g., paramedics and emergency medical technicians), employees of nursing home and long-term–care facilities who have contact with patients or residents, and students in these professions who will have contact with patients…

Facilities that employ HCP should provide vaccine to workers by using approaches that have been demonstrated to be effective in increasing vaccination coverage. The HCP influenza coverage goal should be vaccination of 100% of employees who do not have medical contraindications. Health-care administrators should consider the level of vaccination coverage among HCP to be one measure of a patient safety quality program and consider obtaining signed declinations from personnel who decline influenza vaccination for reasons other than medical contraindications…

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IDSA Policy on Mandatory Immunization of Health Care Workers Against Seasonal and Pandemic Influenza
The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) supports universal immunization of health care workers (HCWs) against influenza by health care institutions (inpatient and outpatient) through mandatory vaccination programs, as these programs are the most effective means to protect patients against the transmission of seasonal and pandemic influenza by HCWs. IDSA supports a policy in which influenza vaccination is a condition of employment, unpaid service, or receipt of professional privileges. Employees who cannot be vaccinated due to medical contraindications or because of vaccine supply shortages should be required to wear masks or be re-assigned away from direct patient care…

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 ACP Policy on Influenza Vaccination of Health Care Workers
“…The recommendation of the Adult Immunization Advisory Board is that a series of educational activities be centered on this message:

An annual influenza vaccine should be required for every health care worker with direct patient care activities, unless a medical contraindication to influenza immunization exists or a religious objection to immunization exists.

If, however, health care workers invoke those exceptions, they must still fulfill their ethical obligations to patients and colleagues by not engaging in direct patient care activities if flu-like symptoms are present. In addition, those health care workers who cannot receive flu vaccines due to medical or religious contraindications should either be re-assigned to non-patient care areas during influenza season or wear a mask at all times during influenza season in the context of patient care….”

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Revised SHEA Position Paper:
Influenza Vaccination of Healthcare Personnel
Author: SHEA
Date Published: 9/2/2010 10:16:00 AM
Abstract: In large part, the discussion about the rationale for influenza vaccination of healthcare personnel, the strategies designed to improve influenza vaccination rates in this population, and the recommendations made in the 2005 paper still stand. This position paper notes new evidence released since publication of the 2005 paper and strengthens SHEA’s position on the importance of influenza vaccination of HCP. This document does not discuss vaccine allocation during times of vaccine shortage, because the 2005 SHEA Position Paper still serves as the society’s official statement on that issue. SHEA views influenza vaccination of HCP as a core patient and HCP safety practice with which noncompliance should not be tolerated.
Therefore, for the safety of both patients and HCP, SHEA endorses a policy in which annual influenza vaccination is a condition of both initial and continued HCP employment and/or professional privileges.
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The National Patient Safety Foundation recognizes vaccine-preventable diseases as a matter of patient safety and supports mandatory influenza vaccination of health care workers to protect the health of patients, health care workers, and the community.
NPSF appreciates that where vaccination is not possible for any reason, due to unavailability or medical contraindications of potential vaccine recipients, hospitals and healthcare professionals must use all available alternatives to avoid transmission to patients and coworkers including masks and adjusting job responsibilities.

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