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Healthcare Workers Still Skeptical About Flu Vaccinations

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, August 19, 2011

The MMWR said that since July of 2007, the Joint Commission has required accredited hospitals, including critical access and long-term care facilities, to establish an annual influenza vaccination program that at a minimum offers onsite vaccination and monitoring, and which educates its employees about the need.

Starting in 2013, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services may require hospitals to report their worker vaccination coverage as part of its Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting Program, according to its inpatient prospective payment system rule.

Other findings from the latest survey include:
• Hospitals had higher coverage (71.1%) than ambulatory or outpatient centers (61.5%), patient homes (53.6%), and other healthcare settings, (46.7%). 
• Physicians and dentists (84.2%) and nurse practitioners and physician assistants (82.6%) had greater compliance with guidelines than those working in all other healthcare occupations, such as nurses (69.8%), non-clinical support (66.2%), allied health professionals, (64.4%), technicians (64%), and assistants or aides (62.4%).
• Younger workers under age 45 were least likely to receive immunization (57.8% for 30-44 and 56.4% for 18-29) than older workers (69% for workers between 45 and 59 and 74.2% for those 60 or older.

Only 13% of those responding to the survey indicated that their employers required them to be vaccinated.


Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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