Campaign

Pennsylvania Health Care Worker Flu Immunization Campaign

A Patient Safety & Employee Health Initiative

Despite well-documented evidence of the importance and benefits of influenza immunization of health care personnel, seasonal influenza vaccination rates among Pennsylvania Health Care Workers (HCWs) remain suboptimal (below 60%), which is far below the Health People 2020 target – 90%.

During the 2010/11 flu season, only 5 hospital systems and 18 nursing homes had vaccinated more than 90% of their staff against influenza. This unacceptably low rate of seasonal influenza vaccination among HCWs is a cause of concern for patient safety as well as employee health. The Pennsylvania Department of Health, like the CDC and several other professional medical organizations, recommends that all HCWs be vaccinated against seasonal influenza.

During the summer and fall of 2010/11, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, in collaboration with the Hospital and Health system Association of Pennsylvania (HAP), the Pennsylvania Immunization Coalition (PIC), the Center for Vaccine Ethics and Policy (CVEP) at the University of Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority (PSA) will be conducting an influenza vaccination campaign to encourage influenza vaccination among HCWs. The campaign will involve:

Be First!

In effort to gather and disseminate best practices for increasing influenza vaccination in the commonwealth”, the PA Department of Health will be awarding a certificate of excellence to any hospital with 90% or more vaccine uptake among its health care workers (HCWs).

For the purposes of this campaign, the term health care worker (HCW) is defined broadly as all paid and unpaid persons working in health care settings who have the potential for exposure to patients. This includes the full range of HCW roles in a variety of settings including acute care hospitals, long term care facilities, skilled nursing facilities, rehabilitation centers, physician’s offices, urgent care centers, outpatient clinics, home health care agencies, and emergency medical services.

Some HCWs provide direct patient care. Others, such as housekeepers, maintenance staff, vendors, volunteers, students or outside contractors, have jobs that may put them into close contact with patients or the patient environment. Even HCWs who do not come into close contact with patients are likely to have some contact with HCWs who do—for example, by passing them in a hallway or eating in the same cafeteria with them.

Certificate of Excellence Status = >90% verifiable flu vaccination of all HCWs, professional staff, volunteers, students, volunteers, and vendors with patient contact*
* patient contact includes provision of any services or tasks which involve activity in clinical and care settings of any kind

Institutions achieving this HCW vaccination performance for the 2011-2012 influenza season may be voluntarily inducted into the honor roll by contacting the PA Department of Health via email at Excellence in Flu Vaccination

In June and July of 2011, the Pennsylvania Department of Health in collaboration with the Hospital and Health system Association of Pennsylvania (HAP), the Pennsylvania Immunization Coalition (PIC), the Center for Vaccine Ethics and Policy at the University of Pennsylvania (CVEP), the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority (PSA) and Penn State Hershey, School of Medicine, will be conducting regional trainings on employee vaccination and patient safety.   One or two trainings will be held in each region of the state and no fee is required to attend. All hospitals and long term care facilities are encouraged to send their staff (infection control preventionists, human resource managers, and occupation and employee health staff) to these sessions. In addition, posters and other vaccination campaign media tools will be broadly distributed to help hospitals promote influenza vaccination among health care workers.

To see the list of scheduled trainings, go to www.flufreepa.com  or contact owsimwale@state.pa.us or call 717-425-5399
pdf version of the above: Pennsylvania Health Care Worker Flu Immunization Campaign

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