As we transition from one flu season into the next, it’s time to take a moment to recognize the efforts of our members and facilities committed to reducing the spread of the flu. During this past 2014-2015 flu season, both our members’ participation and our facilities’ commitment to flu vaccinations hit all-time record numbers. While IntelliCentrics is constantly focused on reducing all sources of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), we cannot help but be humbled by the level of collaboration with our facilities and members to fight the spread of the flu.
How many documents did we process?
This past flu season, our credentialing team processed over 98,000 influenza vaccination documents—our highest number to date. This number reflects an 8 percent increase over last year’s flu season and a 23.3 percent increase over the last two years. Also, the majority of the documents were processed in the month of October. In the five weeks that includes the end of September to the end of October, IntelliCentrics credentialers processed over 54,000 flu documents representing approximately 55 percent of the entire season’s flu submissions. And that’s not even mentioning the 18,000 phone calls our Customer Service team handled during the same time period!
From our company’s inception eight years ago, one of our primary goals has been assisting our facilities with their infection control efforts. IntelliCentrics added the Seasonal Flu credential In September of 2009 and, in September of 2012, we became the ONLY credentialing organization to launch a Seasonal Flu Report designed to give our facilities a much needed, real-time management of influenza vaccination rates. And to streamline our efforts, in July of 2013, we launched an internal credential processing tool, Flu Queue, to streamline our flu document processing so we could handle the large volume of documents submitted.
How did our members do?
Quality patient care is dependent on a safe environment, and, in order to ensure a safe environment, a hospital must be able to engage with every individual who comes through their doors. From the medical device rep signing in to the OR, to the rehab nurse stopping by to check on a patient, to the service tech requisitioned to run diagnostics on a piece of equipment—all of these individuals present the potential for a widespread transmission of the influenza virus to not only patients but staff as well.
We are pleased to announce, during the 2014-2015 flu season, 74 percent of ALL those who logged into an IntelliCentrics facility received their flu vaccination. Not only does this rate exceed the HHS Healthy People 2020 initiative and The Joint Commission’s 70 percent seasonal flu vaccination rate requirement for 2015, it also reflects a 25 percent increase in just two years of all those who crossed the facility’s threshold. No matter if it’s a student, a priest, a volunteer, or a painter—our members are committed to sharing the burden of reducing the spread of HAIs.
How did our facilities do?
When we first introduced the Seasonal Flu credential in 2009, just 7 percent of our facilities committed to enforcing the flu vaccinations of healthcare industry representatives (HCIRs) and other members who entered their facilities. During this past flu season, that number climbed to 81 percent demonstrating a firm commitment by our facilities to reducing healthcare-acquired infections by requiring a flu vaccination from at least one of our member personas. The CDC states coverage is highest among healthcare personnel working in settings with flu vaccination requirements.1 That statement is proven true by the fact that 89 percent of our participating facilities reached or exceeded a 70 percent compliance rate as of March 31, 2015!
Getting ready for 2015-2016!
The first of this season’s flu vaccines are already in route to pharmacies and doctors’ offices across the country and we are, once again, gearing up to process what is expected to be an even greater number of documents this season. Six influenza vaccine manufacturers are projecting that as many as 171 million to 179 million doses of influenza vaccine will be available for use in the United States during the 2015-2016 flu season.2
If your flu numbers were not as high as you wanted them to be, let us help you create a safe and environment in your facility by increasing your flu compliance this year. You no longer need to send email reminders or track unvaccinated people down with the flu cart! will assume the task of automated reminders to those who have not yet gotten their flu shot as well as any other needed immunizations. Since everyone in your facility plays an important role in keeping patients safe, these reminders include anyone your facility contracts for credentialing including physicians, nurses, vendors, and volunteers.