Flu Shots At Health First Protects Patients, Workforce

By  //  September 5, 2013

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Health First creating a healthier community

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Health First recently announced it will require its employees to get annual flu shots.

STUART-180

Stuart Mitchell

This new policy applies to all employees (including employed or contracted members of the medical staff), volunteers, students, and embedded contractors and vendors. The new policy also includes all members of Health First’s senior executive leadership team.

Employees who choose not to get a flu shot, nasal spray, or do not acquire a medical or religious exemption will not be scheduled to work after December 15— until they meet the policy requirement.

“Health First is proud to take this bold step toward creating a healthier community,” said Health First Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer Stuart Mitchell.

“We take great pride in placing the safety of our patients and employees first. By being the first healthcare facility in Brevard County to require employees to get flu vaccines, we know we are doing everything we possibly can to protect our patients, our workforce and their families.”

ADDITIONAL DETAILS ABOUT THE POLICY

Health First is covering the costs for associates to get their flu shot. Acceptable exemptions include certain medical reasons attested to by a physician or religious reasons attested to by a religious leader.

“We take great pride in placing the safety of our patients and employees first. By being the first healthcare facility in Brevard County to require employees to get flu vaccines, we know we are doing everything we possibly can to protect our patients, our workforce and their families.”

Employees have until December 15 to meet the requirements. Limited quantities of the nasal spray will be available. Health First is providing its associates with a variety of tools and information dedicated to explaining the importance of a flu vaccination policy.

The level of flu vaccination coverage among healthcare workers is now also considered to be one measure of a high-quality patient safety program. The Joint Commission recently revised the Influenza Vaccination standard (IC.02.04.01). Accredited organizations are required to set incremental influenza vaccination goals, consistent with achieving the 90 percent rate for healthcare personnel established in the national influenza initiatives for 2020.

In addition, all hospitals are now required to report their healthcare personnel flu vaccination rates. In addition, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) requires Health First to report the percentage of our workforce that is vaccinated.


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