443. Influenza Vaccination for Hospital Employees
Session: Poster Abstract Session: Occupational Health
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Room: SDCC Poster Hall F-H
Posters
  • fluposter7.png (397.4 kB)
  • Background:

    Influenza (flu) vaccination is the best way to protect against flu. During the 2010 flu season, the flu vaccination rate among health care workers was estimated at 63.5%, which increased to 98% when there was an employer requirement for vaccination.1  Many hospitals, including ours, have been reluctant to institute such a policy based on the fear of litigation and the compromising of employees’ civil liberties and autonomy.  We report our experience on trying to improve vaccination rates without instituting an official requirement. 

     

    Methods:

    Prior to 2011, methods of increasing flu vaccination at our hospital included mobile carts, centralized dispensing areas, and declination letters.  In 2011, a flu task force was created, and 3 additional components were added: stickers on badges identifying vaccination status; use of surgical masks by unvaccinated employees when within 6 feet of a patient; and weekly emails to department supervisors updating them on their employees’ status.  It was required that employees either receive the vaccine or sign a declination letter. 

    Results:

    During the 2011 flu season, 2306 employees received the vaccine or showed proof of vaccination elsewhere, and 141 signed a declination letter, resulting in a 90% compliance rate with hospital policy.  Overall, the vaccination rate was 85%.

     

    Year

    Employees Vaccinated

    Total Employees

    Vaccination Rate (%)

    2008

    1034

    2358

    44

    2009

    1237

    2165

    57

    2010

    1363

    2239

    61

    2011

    2306

    2723

    85

    Conclusion:

    We saw a dramatic increase in flu vaccination rates despite not implementing a mandatory vaccination policy.  From surveys of first time vaccine recipients, the inconvenience and stigma of masking was the strongest motivator for vaccination.  Other factors that influenced vaccination included support of our program from hospital leaders, pressure on employees by their supervisors to take action, and better education regarding the need for vaccination.  Mandatory vaccination is the most effective way to increase rates, yet such policies are still not widely accepted by many hospitals.  In institutions where the administration is reluctant to adopt such a policy, we present a model which may be beneficial.

    Rohit Modak, M.D., M.B.A., Sarah Parris, R.N., M.S.N., C.O.H.N and Jeffrey Dilisi, M.D., M.B.A., Virginia Hospital Center, Arlington, VA

    Disclosures:

    R. Modak, None

    S. Parris, None

    J. Dilisi, None

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