Nurse Flu Shot Compliance Reverberates Through Community
One of the first to implement such as mandate was Loyola University Medical Center. A four-year study of the mandatory flu vaccination program there found that it did not lead to excessive voluntary termination.
It reports that "in the first year of the mandatory policy (2009–2010 season), 99.2% of employees received the vaccine, 0.7% were exempted for religious/medical reasons, and 0.1% refused vaccination and chose to terminate employment.
The results have been sustained: In 2012, 98.7% were vaccinated, 1.2% were exempted and 0.06% refused vaccination… Over the course of four years, fewer than 15 staff members (including volunteers) out of approximately 8,000 total chose termination over vaccination."
Whether or not a healthcare organization chooses to mandate the flu vaccine, Marx says it's still up to a hospital and its leadership to increase vaccination rates among employees.
"Vaccination rates vary widely based on leadership commitment," he says. Therefore, nurse and other leaders should role model annual influenza vaccination, and healthcare organizations should provide free vaccines and convenient access to them; doing so will make flu vaccination a "cultural expectation."
Marx also adds that hospitals should publicize vaccination campaigns with senior leadership, and "include the patient. They need to know what the hospital does to keep them safe."
Alexandra Wilson Pecci is a managing editor for HealthLeaders Media.
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