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Mandatory Flu Shots Mean You're Serious About Patient Safety

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, September 21, 2012

Here's an easy opportunity to lead. Develop an iron-clad flu vaccination policy, and require your employees to get vaccinated unless they have a legitimate religious or medical exemption.

Sound draconian?

To many, it once did. But in today's healthcare environment, we're supposed to be about putting patients first. If a particular treatment proves more efficacious than another, or more efficacious than no treatment at all, it should be implemented outside any countervailing evidence.

The only reason requiring flu vaccination is perceived as different is that it involves medical treatment for the people providing the healthcare, whereas, in most cases, it deals with the people who are receiving it.

That's not a good enough reason not to do this.

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5 comments on "Mandatory Flu Shots Mean You're Serious About Patient Safety"


pbrown6989 (10/19/2012 at 11:07 AM)
Grow up people. Why is there so much drama about a flu shot. The problem is spreading the flu to other people before you know you have it. If you have chosen healthcare as your career then you have an obligation to patients and other HCPs to get the flu shot. It is a killed virus...you can't get sick and if you insist you got the flu because of the shot, look elsewhere for the attention you obviously need.

Renee (9/27/2012 at 5:14 PM)
Just like you autonomy allows you to choose a flu shot mine allows me to choose not to! Why is it a one way street? I have been fatigued, nauseated, had a sore throat and swollen glands since I received the flu shot on Monday. But it's someone else's decision to infect me with a virus and make me ill!! Missing many hours of work and productivity due to it.

Kate (9/25/2012 at 6:26 PM)
Maybe your employer shouldn't make you wash your hands, either, since that interferes with your bodily autonomy. You might even have a bad dermatologic reaction to the alcohol-based rinse, or the unusual scent of the soap might trigger a killer migraine. Your autonomy over your body does not give you the right to infect mine.