‘Tis the Flu Season

‘Tis the Flu Season

Flu vaccination is the first and best way to prevent flu and its complications. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), and the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC) continue to recommend that all U.S. healthcare workers get vaccinated annually against influenza.

The CDC defines healthcare workers in this recommendation to include (but not limited to) physicians, nurses, nursing assistants, therapists, technicians, emergency medical service personnel, dental personnel, pharmacists, laboratory personnel, autopsy personnel, students and trainees, contractual staff not employed by the healthcare facility, and persons not directly involved in patient care (e.g., clerical, dietary, housekeeping, laundry, security, maintenance, administrative, billing, and volunteers) but potentially exposed to infectious agents that can be transmitted to and from health care workers and patients.

Goals for Flu Vaccination in Hospitals

The Joint Commission standard IC.02.04.01 states hospitals must offer vaccination against influenza to licensed independent practitioners and staff. Supportive elements of performance (EPs) include setting incremental goals for influenza vaccination, that are to be included in the Infection Prevention and Control Plan, with the intent of improving vaccination rates annually.

In addition to annual influenza vaccination, hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette (covering your cough), use of personal protective equipment (PPE), transmission-based precautions with known or suspected influenza, ongoing healthcare worker education, and staying home from work when sick are all important factors that assist in minimizing the risk of spreading flu to our patients and each other.

Key Knowledge Points

Below are components to consider with your organization’s Influenza Vaccination Program and influenza transmission prevention efforts in the healthcare setting:

Hand Hygiene
Hand Hygiene Observations are based upon selected evidence-based guidelines, audit tool, and organization’s policy and procedure. Real time feedback with correction is imperative to prevent potential transmission of an infectious agent.

§482.42 TAG: A-0747 |Condition of Participation: Infection Control
Hand Hygiene Program NPSG.07.01.01 EPs 1-3
Hand Hygiene Missed Opportunity IC.02.01.01 EP2

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Regularly audit PPE practices. Validate correct PPE technique post education and demonstration for appropriate application and usage.

§482.42 TAG: A-0747 §482.42 Condition of Participation: Infection Control
IC.02.01.01 EPs 2,3

Influenza Education
Provide healthcare workers education regarding influenza vaccination, transmission, and preventative measures.

HR.01.05.03 EP 1
IC.02.04.01 EP2

Infection Prevention and Control Risk Assessment and Plan
Identify risks for acquiring and transmitting influenza. Include the Influenza Vaccination Program in the risk assessment. Based on the risks, goals are formulated and included in the Infection Prevention and Control Plan. Influenza vaccination rates are documented. Annual evaluation of influenza vaccination rates and declinations assist towards improving rates for the subsequent year.

§482.42 TAG: A-0747 §482.42 Condition of Participation: Infection Control
IC.01.03.01 EP 1
IC.01.04.01 EP1
IC.02.01.01 EPs 1,2,3
IC.02.04.01 EPs 4,8

TiER1 Healthcare can help!

To discuss how TiER1 Healthcare can help your team form a complete approach to providing a safe and effective care environment, call (800) 241-0142 or email healthcare@tier1performance.com for a consultation.

Read more by Lisa Waldowski, DNP, APRN, CIC


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