St. Vincent’s HealthCare Tightens Flu Vaccination Policy | Health
Reflecting their commitment to healthcare that is safe, St. Vincent’s HealthCare (SVHC) has introduced a requirement that all physicians and associates get a flu shot. SVHC President and CEO Moody Chisholm and other hospital administrators rolled up their sleeves recently to get their annual flu shot. They along with all St. Vincent’s HeatlhCare associates, both clinical and non-clinical, must get the flu shot or wear a mask from Jan. 1 through the remainder of the flu season.
The change in policy is based on new national recommendations by the American Hospital Association to boost the vaccination rate nationwide.
St. Vincent’s is following Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) directives to adopt a Universal Immunization Protocol.
The reason is simple:
- For the last 40 years, influenza has caused the death of an average of 36,000 people per year
- People who acquire the flu can spread it before they even know they have it, and
- Anyone who works in healthcare has the potential to spread this disease to our vulnerable patient population
“The health and safety of our patients is our number one priority,” said St. Vincent’s HealthCare President and CEO Moody Chisholm. “Every year people around the country die from the flu even though it is highly preventable. By taking this precautionary measure, we are better protecting our patients, associates and our community.”
In response to the CDC and Center for Medicare Services (CMS) directives, Ascension Health, St. Vincent’s HealthCare’s parent company, has asked all its health ministries (including St. Vincent’s Riverside, St. Vincent’s Southside and St. Catherine Labouré Manor) to adopt a universal vaccination program from this flu season forward. This aligns with the goals of Ascension Health and St. Vincent’s HealthCare which is to provide healthcare that is safe. The objective is to be a High Reliability Organization (HRO) with systems in place to avoid potential errors. Starting next year, new rules will require all hospitals to report to the CDC what percentage of their healthcare workers have been vaccinated against the flu.
By 2020, healthcare workers will be required to get the shot or risk losing their job.
“This is the direction many hospitals around the country are going,” said St. Vincent’s HealthCare Director of Performance Improvement Jody Saffert. “Taking measures now is a way for St. Vincent’s HealthCare to stay ahead of the curve while better protecting our patients, visitors, associates and their families from the potentially deadly virus.”
The flu shot is conveniently being offered to St. Vincent’s HealthCare associates and physicians free of charge at various times and places around each of our campuses.