March 9, 2011, Vol 305, No. 10, pp 969-1050
A Multifaceted Mandatory Patient Safety Program and Seasonal Influenza Vaccination of Health Care Workers in Community Hospitals
Edward J. Septimus, Jonathan B. Perlin, Scott B. Cormier, Julia A. Moody, Jason D. Hickok
To the Editor: Seasonal influenza is the leading cause of vaccine-preventable death in the United States. 1 Since health care workers can contribute to the spread of seasonal influenza among vulnerable patients, US national health objectives for 2010 included a target vaccination rate for health care workers of 60%. 2 However, reaching and exceeding this goal has been difficult.
Most health care institutions recognize their ethical and professional responsibility to protect patients from preventable nosocomial infections while accommodating employees’ needs. Accordingly, we developed a multifaceted patient safety program that required seasonal influenza vaccination of health care workers but accommodated declination for any reason. We assessed vaccination rates in a large, diverse health care system primarily comprised of community hospitals after implementing this program.