This week marks National Influenza Vaccination Week, an annual event sponsored by the CDC to remind everyone to get their flu shots before flu season goes into full swing. However, no reminder is needed for Reptrax facilities and members as this season’s participation has already exceeded last year’s totals.
Each flu season, facilities decide who is required to provide evidence of a flu vaccination. In 2011, 761 Reptrax facilities were requiring vendor representatives and other non-employees who do business in their facility to get vaccinated. This season, the number has risen to 4,636 healthcare facilities that require immunizations for Reptrax members. Although most of those required to get vaccinations do business in, or on the fringe of, patient care areas, this season’s numbers also show a marked increase in those who access other, non-patient, areas. In fact, an additional 309 facilities, realizing the value of protecting staff as well as patients, have added a seasonal flu requirement for individuals who only visit administrative offices.
The good news is most Reptrax members are well aware of flu vaccination requirements and are ready and willing to comply. Our credentialing team has processed over 73,000 flu documents so far this flu season, a 19% increase over those processed on the same date last year. Actually, of the 83,612 Reptrax members who have crossed the threshold of a Reptrax facility since Oct. 1 this year, 66% have provided documented evidence of a flu vaccination indicating a 7% increase in overall participation over last season’s final numbers.
Using the National Quality Forum formula to calculate the flu vaccination status for Reptrax members, 1,731 of our facilities have already reached 70% flu vaccination levels this season while 721 of those have reached 90%! This is quite an achievement as the national average for healthcare workers in the 2012-2013 season was 72%.
We are proud of the level of participation currently in effect for our members and facilities. The CDC urges everyone over 6 months of age to get a flu vaccination every year and recommends the following actions to protect yourself and others from the flu:

Take time to get a flu vaccine.
Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs.
Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them.

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