With only four flu seasons left to hit the HHS Healthy People 20201 goal of 90 percent, it’s time to look for ways to make more significant strides towards the finish line. Below is a list of five ways your facility can make a difference this flu season:
1) Get EVERYONE on board! Did you know that requiring influenza vaccinations from occupational visitors, volunteers, students, and contracted personnel could increase the vaccination rate of your medical staff? Humans have a basic instinct to move and think as a group. This “herd mentality” is formed by our survivalist nature and makes us all more cooperative.2
2) Take advantage of automation. A 2014 research study published in the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) journal found tracking influenza vaccination of healthcare personnel through an automated system increased vaccination compliance and reduced workload burden on human resources and occupational health staff.3
3) Know where you stand. Each facility is tasked with maintaining a gradual increase in their vaccination rates year-over-year. Having access to a tool such as the SEC3URE Seasonal Flu Report to track those entering your facility from October 1st to March 31st each year will provide real-time reporting you can use to manage your current status. Using the regulatory NQF formula, the report also captures your season-end progress each year, so you are able to track your yearly incremental improvements.
4) Keep a close eye on the exceptions. Not only should Individual facilities be able to determine if signed declinations will be allowed, they should also have final approval on all medical and religious exemptions to influenza vaccinations. And, in order to perpetuate those yearly increases and fulfill regulatory requirements, they should have a tool that allows them to re-evaluate all reasons for declining each year.
5) Target communications. Regulatory agencies such as the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), TJC, and the CDC all agree that the best way to increase vaccination rates in healthcare personnel is via education and communication. In addition to weekly reminders, the SEC3URE Seasonal Flu Report makes it easy to target and communicate with those individuals who need additional supportive data. Data from the report can also be shared with key administrative stakeholders in your organization via an export tool.
This past flu season, 89 percent of our participating facilities met or exceeded their 70 percent participation goal. While many are well on their way to hit 90 percent in the next four years, they are also doing something even bigger—protecting their patients from getting the flu. The 2016-2017 flu season is fast approaching, and you will have another opportunity to shine. If your facility has a lot of ground to cover to reach its goals or your facility’s numbers are just not as high as you would like, we can help. We provide you with the tools you need to apply your flu vaccination policies consistently and universally across everyone in your facility. Contact us for more information on IntelliCentrics’ SEC3URE.