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Countdown to Flu Shot Compliance Begins

Chelsea Rice, for HealthLeaders Media, October 7, 2013

During the 2012–2013 flu season, 68% of the staff at North Shore-LIJ were vaccinated, 27% declined, and 1% were medically exempt. In the 2011–2012 flu season, 58% were vaccinated, 16% declined, 0% were medically exempt, and the status of 26% of employees was unknown.

Infrastructure Matters
Because of the CMS reporting requirement, North Shore-LIJ had to make a big push to document the status of its employees. Lorraine Chambers Lewis, assistant vice president of employee health services at North Shore-LIJ, says NSLIJ's intranet infrastructure was essential to effectively tracking and tallying their compliance with CMS's new rule.

"If you don't have the infrastructure already there, this is extremely difficult. The data gives the leaders the information and gives the department heads and managers something to react to in order to engage folks. Without it you don't really know where you are. The data is so important," Lewis says.

The intranet reports allowed managers to know exactly where their direct reports stood with regard to the flu vaccine. Lewis attributes this level of individual accountability for increasing the health system's vaccination rate by 10 percentage points.

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