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Countdown to Flu Shot Compliance Begins

Chelsea Rice, for HealthLeaders Media, October 7, 2013

Encouraging healthcare workers to get their flu shots has been a patient safety and quality of care issue for years. Mandatory public reporting of this hospital quality measure is finally moving the needle.


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>>>Flu Vaccinations at North Shore-LIJ

On October 1, while everyone was buzzing about whether or not they could get past the technical glitches on health insurance exchanges, the 2013–2014 flu season officially began.

This year flu season is different. This year, it's not only hospitals, but acute care and long term care facilities that must report staff vaccination rates to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services or risk being penalized. The data will be posted on Hospital Compare.

Last flu season, 72% of healthcare personnel reported having had a flu vaccine, a 5.1 percentage point increase from the 2011–2012 season. Hospital-based employees had the highest vaccination rate (83.1%) and long-term care employees had the lowest vaccination rate (58.9%).

For North Shore-LIJ Health System's more than 46,000 employees in hospitals across Queens, Staten Island, Long Island and Manhattan, federal reporting appears to have helped improve vaccination rates.

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