Other Influenza (Flu) Vaccination Rate Measures

Employee Influenza Vaccination Rate

What are we measuring and why?

Influenza (commonly referred to as "the flu") is a contagious respiratory tract infection that can cause severe illness, particularly among young children and the elderly. While it is recommended that everyone receive an annual flu shot to protect their health, employees in healthcare facilities bear an additional responsibility. Should a flu epidemic arise, it is important that employees are vaccinated to ensure that there are enough healthy staff available to care for an influx of ill patients. Furthermore, healthcare facilities with high employee vaccination rates are less likely to transmit the illness from infected staff to patients/visitors and experience outbreaks.

Each year, MGH measures the percentage of eligible employees who receive an influenza vaccination, according to specifications set forth by the Joint Commission and Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH).

How are we doing and how do we compare to the best practice?

MGH vaccination efforts resulted in an overall employee vaccination rate of 84% during the 2016-2017 flu season. Performance fell slightly below the statewide rate of 92% and MDPH goal of 90% across Massachusetts acute care hospitals. Of note, MGH direct care providers - those with the most patient contact - achieved a 94% vaccination rate. This is considered the most important measure of flu protection for parents.

Healthcare employees considered in the calculation changed during the 2013-2014 flu season. The revised formula does not count many part-time employees or those who worked in the facility for less than 30 days - many of whom still receive the vaccination. These definitional changes make it challenging to compare and draw conclusions from vaccination rates over time.

  • Current Scores
  • Scores Over Time
  • Higher values are better
88% 92% 84%

MGH Source: MGH Infection Control data
Comparison Group Source: MA Dept of Public Health (MDPH) / CMS National Average

MGH / Comparison data: 2016-2017 Season

84 83 84 83 84 79 88 86 92 86 92 91

MGH Source: MGH Infection Control data
Comparison Group Source: MA Dept of Public Health (MDPH) / CMS National Average

What are we doing to improve?

MGH tracks vaccines administered to employees onsite. In addition, we have implemented a computerized system that enables employees to self-report if they have been vaccinated through a healthcare provider outside of MGH. During the flu season, managers and department leaders receive reports that identify employees whom have not provided flu vaccination information. The Occupational Health Service continues to promote and improve access to flu vaccines.

What can you do?

Get vaccinated! You should get vaccinated every flu season in the fall or early winter. Take precautions every day to prevent the spread of germs by following cough etiquette (see the link below), washing your hands frequently, eating nutritious foods, and getting enough sleep. If you have flu-like symptoms, stay at home and contact your healthcare provider to see if antiviral medications are appropriate.

Useful Links

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Flu Information
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Cough Etiquette


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