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Mandatory Flu Shots Mean You're Serious About Patient Safety

Philip Betbeze, for HealthLeaders Media, September 21, 2012

"Getting out of jury duty is probably a little bit easier than getting out of this," she jokes. "The policy is very clear about what the medical and religious exemptions are and we want to make sure we apply those consistently."

To that end, a committee reviews all the religious and medical exemption requests and makes determinations quickly. Those who request an exemption that don't fit the requirements are allowed to provide any additional information that might exempt them. Otherwise they must comply with the policy by getting the shot, says Bessel.

And that's by Dec. 1, which for Arizona, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is the start of the flu season.

This policy didn't just come from an executive decree, however. The requirement is couched in the very reason most people choose to work in healthcare, says Bessel—to improve health.

"There are a number of other organizations that have done this previously and we have done a lot of reading and research about this by speaking with them to get their lessons learned," Bessel says.

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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.