How Loyola Makes Flu Shot Compliance Soar
"But at the end of the day my number one answer," Parada says, "is that it's not about you, the healthcare worker. It's not about the worker's right to get the vaccine or not get the vaccine. It's about the responsibility to make sure that I don't make my patients sick.
"And if I can reduce the odds that I'm going to catch a vaccine-preventable contagious disease, I should do that because it's going to reduce the odds that I will transmit the disease to all our vulnerable patients that we care for."
Parada also justified Loyola's policy of paying for and distributing the vaccine to all its workers for free.
"There's a fiduciary responsibility on the part of a healthcare organization to try to diminish the risk to healthcare workers. They're at higher risk of catching the flu because when anyone gets (a severe case of influenza), they're going to show up in the hospital. And this vaccine reduces the risk by more than half."
Parada says that while Loyola was one of just a few hospitals in the country to initiate the policy when it did, today many more organizations refuse employment to those who won't get their annual flu shot.
"It's still the minority of hospitals, but it's not nearly as rare as it was. Each year more hospitals adopt these policies."
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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