The Christ Hospital has received the Gold Award from Joint Commission Resources in its third annual Flu Vaccination Challenge. The gold level recognizes healthcare organizations that achieve a vaccination rate of at least 95 percent among their staff. The Christ Hospital achieved a vaccination rate of nearly 100 percent for the 2010-11 flu season. Among reporting institutions, only 17 percent earned the Gold Award.
“Getting vaccinated is one of the most important things a healthcare worker can do to help prevent the spread of influenza among patients, families and coworkers,” said Deborah Hayes, R.N., M.S., N.E.A.-B.C., chief hospital officer/chief nursing office with The Christ Hospital. “Our employees continue to show outstanding leadership in patient safety and are setting a very high bar for healthcare workers across the nation when it comes to preventing the spread of flu.”
Flu shots have been required for all employees of The Christ Hospital since 2009, with exceptions granted in approved circumstances. Those exempt from the flu shot requirement must wear protective masks during flu season to help prevent the spread of the flu virus. Proper hand hygiene, another important step in preventing the spread of flu, is stressed throughout the year.
According the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), receiving the annual flu vaccination is the most effective method for preventing flu virus infection and its complications. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends annual flu vaccination to include all people aged six months and older. The ACIP recommends that vaccination efforts have a primary focus on those at higher risk for flu complications, such as adults aged 65 and older, people with chronic medical conditions, and those in close contact with high-risk individuals, including healthcare workers.