Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Strict policy raises hospital's worker flu vaccination rate

Date:
December 12, 2011
Source:
Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America
Summary:
A California hospital raised its employee influenza vaccination rate above 90 percent by shifting from a voluntary vaccination program to one mandating all healthcare workers either get vaccinated or wear a mask at work for the entire flu season (December through March).

A California hospital raised its employee influenza vaccination rate above 90 percent by shifting from a voluntary vaccination program to one mandating all healthcare workers either get vaccinated or wear a mask at work for the entire flu season (December through March).

Related Articles


A five-year study of evolving flu vaccination programs at University of California Irvine Medical Center is published in the January 2012 issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. The results, the authors say, suggest voluntary programs are not enough to get meaningful increases in flu vaccination rates for healthcare workers.

The systematic effort by University of California Irvine Healthcare to raise vaccination rates among its 6,500 employees began in 2006. Initial efforts focused on educating employees and making vaccines free of charge and conveniently available. During the 2007 and 2008 flu seasons, efforts were advanced to also include a mandatory declination strategy, the use of mobile carts and decentralized vaccine distribution by designated nurses in clinical areas.

According to the study, the voluntary campaign raised rates from around 45 percent to 60 percent. "Nevertheless, the use of these campaigns, even over a two-year period, was unable to increase [healthcare worker] vaccination rates beyond 60 percent," the researchers write. "Only the addition of a mandatory vaccination policy enabled instantaneous gains in vaccination to levels above 90 percent."

The mandatory campaign requiring vaccination or wearing a mask while in medical areas began in 2009, raising rates that season to nearly 87 percent. In addition to the mask requirement, employees who were not vaccinated were required to sign a written declination. A real-time tracking tool was also implemented to provide online-accessible lists of compliant and non-compliant staff.

During the 2010 season, the mandatory policy was further strengthened through the involvement of the dean of the School of Medicine. The dean provided lists of non-compliant staff to department chairs and linked compliance with the policy with good-standing department budget allocations. This modification, alongside the cumulative strategies initiated since 2006, raised flu vaccination rates among school of medicine faculty above 90 percent.

"In moving to a mandatory program, we found that the majority of vaccine declinations for medical or religious reasons remained small throughout all flu seasons. In contrast, the proportion of declinations for preferential reasons, like philosophical beliefs or fear of needles, markedly decreased," said Dr. Susan Huang, a professor at UC Irvine Medical Center and one of the study's authors.

"This suggests that the declination policy captures a small number of healthcare professionals who feel strongly about declining, as well as a much larger number who have not made vaccination a priority. The masking requirement for those not vaccinated might have provided sufficient disincentive to encourage healthcare providers to prioritize vaccination."

Despite calls from numerous infection control organizations, including the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, for all healthcare workers to get vaccinated against the flu, nationwide rates hover at 60-65 percent, and relatively few hospitals have enacted mandatory vaccination programs.

"Our findings suggest that inertia, rather than conscious objection or protest, is a major driver of low vaccination rates," Huang said. "We hope this finding motivates medical facilities to develop policies to ensure that the safety of patients comes first."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kathleen Quan, David M. Tehrani, Linda Dickey, Eugene Spiritus, Denise Hizon, Kristie Heck, Pamela Samuelson, Elliot Kornhauser, Raja Zeitany, Susan Mancia, Lauri Thrupp, Susan M. Tiso, and Susan Huang. Voluntary to Mandatory: Evolution of Strategies and Attitudes Towards Influenza Vaccination of Healthcare Personnel. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, 33:1 (January 2012)

Cite This Page:

Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. "Strict policy raises hospital's worker flu vaccination rate." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 December 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111212144238.htm>.
Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. (2011, December 12). Strict policy raises hospital's worker flu vaccination rate. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 4, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111212144238.htm
Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. "Strict policy raises hospital's worker flu vaccination rate." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111212144238.htm (accessed March 4, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) Researchers found adults only get the flu about once every five years. Scientists analyzed how a person&apos;s immunity builds up over time as well. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mount Everest Has a Poop Problem

Mount Everest Has a Poop Problem

Buzz60 (Mar. 4, 2015) With no bathrooms to use, climbers of Mount Everest have been leaving human waste on the mountain for years, and it&apos;s becoming a health issue. Mike Janela (@mikejanela) has more. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obamacare's New Supreme Court Battle

Obamacare's New Supreme Court Battle

Washington Post (Mar. 4, 2015) The Affordable Care Act is facing another challenge at the Supreme Court in King v. Burwell, which deals with subsidies for health insurance. The case could cut out a major provision of Obamacare, causing the law to unravel. Here’s what you need to know about the case. Video provided by Washington Post
Powered by NewsLook.com
Investigation Finds Hurt Workers Suffer More In Some States

Investigation Finds Hurt Workers Suffer More In Some States

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) ProPublica and NPR&apos;s joint investigation found drastic cuts to workers compensation benefits and employees&apos; access to those benefits. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins