7
   

Two Boston Hospitals Mandating Flu Shots For Workers

 
 
Miller
 
Reply Wed 14 Sep, 2011 08:33 am
Two Boston hospitals mandating flu shots for workers
By Kay Lazar, Globe Staff

Two of Boston’s largest teaching hospitals will require all employees who have contact with patients to get a flu vaccine this fall or face suspension, and possibly termination.

The two, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Children’s Hospital Boston, are part of a 10-hospital coalition that pledged in July to adopt policies “as quickly as logistically feasible” to mandate seasonal flu vaccines for all health care workers “as a condition of employment.”

The hospital rules are aimed at keeping workers healthy so they don’t spread the flu to patients and also to ensure that large numbers of caregivers don’t get sick in the middle of a flu outbreak when hospitals could be inundated with patients.

The rules come as state health regulators are slated tomorrow to unveil the latest flu vaccination rates among the state’s 71 acute care hospitals.

The state’s relatively low vaccination rate -- 68 percent of workers were immunized in the 2009-2010 season -- has long frustrated public health leaders.

“It’s a critical patient safety issue,” said Dr. Alan Woodward, past president of the Massachusetts Medical Society and a member of the state Public Health Council, an appointed panel of doctors, consumer advocates, and professors that is scheduled to debate today how to get more workers vaccinated.

“Health care workers are very prone to be vectors, transmitting the disease to others, and they can be infectious before they show symptoms,” Woodward said.

Hoping to boost statewide rates, the 10-hospital coalition called the Eastern Massachusetts Healthcare Initiative, in July adopted a statement in which member hospitals agreed to develop mandatory vaccination policies for all health care personnel, with approved medical exemptions as the only exception.

Included in that coalition are Boston Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Lahey Clinic, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Massachusetts General Hospital, Tufts Medical Center ,and Winchester Hospital.

Current state rules require hospital workers to be vaccinated or sign a form declining the shot. Those rules allow for medical and religious exceptions.

But Dr. Kenneth Sands, senior vice president for health care quality at Beth Israel Deaconess and chair of the coalition, said stricter rules that allow only medical exceptions , such as a signed doctor’s form indicating a worker’s allergy to the vaccine, can create significantly higher vaccination rates.

“Most of these places [nationally] that have gotten to 100 percent vaccination rates either have people receiving vaccine or having a documented reason to not get a vaccine,” he said.

Sands said the current state policy, which allows workers to avoid a flu vaccine by simply signing a form declining the shot, will likely not create higher vaccination rates.

At Beth Israel Deaconess, Sands said, the new policy will not allow patients to decline the vaccine unless they have a documented medical problem, and will only allow religious exemptions on a “case-by-case basis.”

The hospital had a 60 percent vaccination rate in the 2009-2010 season. Sands said his hospital has worked to boost its rates by offering shots during off-hours, at nurses’ work stations, and at kiosks set up in the hospital.

The new policy this season at Children’s Hospital Boston, which is still being finalized, will state that all “personnel who work in patient care areas who are not vaccinated or granted a medical exemption will face termination and/or withdrawl of privileges,” said spokewoman Bess Andrews.

The withdrawl of privileges refers to physicians who are not employed by the hospital but who see patients at the institution. They will no longer be allowed to treat patients at Children’s if unvaccinated.

The hospital reported a 53 percent worker vaccinatation rate in 2009-2010.

The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in August released a report that estimated a national flu vaccination rate among hospital workers last season at 71 percent. The report said that vaccination rates among health care workers in general was about 63 percent.

The agency found that vaccination rates were as high as 98 percent among workers whose employers mandated the shots.

It also found that roughly 95 percent of health care workers who were immunized last year believed the vaccine was safe. Among the workers who did not get immunized, only 66 percent said they believed the shot was safe.

Similarly, the survey found that 89 percent of workers who were vaccinated believed that vaccination would help better protect people around them from getting the flu. Only 45 percent of those who were not vaccinated indicated that belief.
 
Miller
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Sep, 2011 08:37 am
The next step Boston hospitals will probably take is the requirement that all patients have the flu shot ( and be able to prove they got it ) before they'll be admitted to the ER, hospital or any clinic on hospital grounds.

It'll be interesting to see how many workers are terminated because of this requirement.
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  2  
Reply Wed 14 Sep, 2011 08:40 am
@Miller,
What is the motto? "First do no harm...."

I believe this is an important mandatory policy.
DrewDad
 
  3  
Reply Wed 14 Sep, 2011 08:41 am
@Miller,
Let's see.....

Workers who are repeatedly exposed to an illness are instructed to take a simple step to prevent spreading it?

What will be next? Hand washing?
0 Replies
 
Miller
 
  2  
Reply Wed 14 Sep, 2011 08:43 am
@tsarstepan,
First Massachusetts mandated health insurance for all. Now we're having more mandates. What ever happened to freedom of choice.

Personally, I never get the flu shot and I never get the flu. I'll bet $$ that as soon as I get a flu shot, I'll get the flu.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Sep, 2011 08:58 am
@Miller,
For the past 9 years, I have gotten the flu shot. For the past 9 years, I have yet to get the flu. Anecdotal evidence. Take it with a grain of salt. I believe the flu shot works for protecting people from most cases of the flu.

No one ever said, the flu shot was a 100% prevention against the many variables of the spectrum that is the influenza virus.
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Sep, 2011 09:01 am
@tsarstepan,
She doesn't get the flu, but she always gets food poisoning right around October....

Inevitably, our kids get exposed to some crud by a parent who thinks (and often says), "my little darling isn't sick, she just has allergies!"
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Wed 14 Sep, 2011 09:06 am
@DrewDad,
Oh man that drove me crazy.

Sozlet seems (knock on wood) to have grown out of the worst (fingers crossed) of the unhealthy phase. But for a while there, to get a cold meant neverending vomiting and dehydration and often a trip to the ER. It was not trivial. And those parents who sent in their snotty-nosed, feverish kids really, really pissed me off. (Especially in preschool, where snotty-nosed kids would wipe their snotty noses with their hands and proceed to touch everything.)
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  3  
Reply Wed 14 Sep, 2011 01:21 pm
Oh pshaw. In the military I had to get the flu shot every year. In basic I got the plague, tetanus, I believe.

Taking a flu shot just goes with the territory of being a health care worker. If the kitchen is too hot, get out of the kitchen.

Miller
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Oct, 2011 05:53 am
@Foofie,
Foofie wrote:



Taking a flu shot just goes with the territory of being a health care worker. If the kitchen is too hot, get out of the kitchen.


Not to worry...With the severe job shortage we're now having, there are few and far between jobs in healthcare. So not to worry about shots ( unless you're in a Bar).
0 Replies
 
Miller
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Dec, 2012 03:14 pm
Same order is effect for the 2012 flu season.
parados
 
  3  
Reply Wed 5 Dec, 2012 03:48 pm
@Miller,
Miller wrote:

Same order is effect for the 2012 flu season.

Next you'll be complaining that hospitals mandate you wash your hands.
Miller
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Dec, 2012 02:07 pm
@parados,
parados wrote:
Surprised
Miller wrote:

Same order is effect for the 2012 flu season.

Next you'll be complaining that hospitals mandate you wash your hands.


I'm a strong advocate for hand washing during most of my waking hours:
after a bus ride, after a subway ride, after a ride in an elevator, after a visit to a Doctors office, after a taxi ride....etc.

I also have on sterile hand wipes that are saturated with 66% alcohol.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  4  
Reply Thu 6 Dec, 2012 02:24 pm
You know, if someone doesn't believe in preventive medicine, it's just possible they might be happier working elsewhere.
Miller
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Dec, 2012 03:45 pm
@roger,
Could be.
0 Replies
 
IsmailaGodHasHeard
 
  0  
Reply Tue 18 Dec, 2012 10:05 pm
@Miller,
That is a violation of civil rights. They have the right to choose.
0 Replies
 
IsmailaGodHasHeard
 
  0  
Reply Tue 18 Dec, 2012 10:05 pm
@Miller,
Amen.
0 Replies
 
IsmailaGodHasHeard
 
  0  
Reply Tue 18 Dec, 2012 10:06 pm
@Foofie,
People have the right to choose.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Immortality and Doctor Volkov - Discussion by edgarblythe
Sleep Paralysis - Discussion by Nick Ashley
On the edge and toppling off.... - Discussion by Izzie
Surgery--Again - Discussion by Roberta
PTSD, is it caused by a blow to the head? - Question by Rickoshay75
THE GIRL IS ILL - Discussion by Setanta
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Two Boston Hospitals Mandating Flu Shots For Workers
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.04 seconds on 10/18/2019 at 01:01:03