Other Influenza (Flu) Vaccination Rate Measures

Employee Influenza Vaccination Rate

What are we measuring and why?

Influenza (the flu) is a contagious illness which can cause severe illness, and even death in the elderly, young children and individuals who are very ill. While everyone should be vaccinated against the flu each year to protect their health, employees in healthcare facilities carry additional responsibility for being vaccinated. Healthcare employees must protect themselves so that in the event of a flu epidemic there will be enough staff to provide care to an increased number of ill patients. In addition, healthcare facilities with low rates of flu vaccination among their employees are more likely to have flu outbreaks and possibly transmit flu from infected employees to patients and visitors.

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

Statewide for acute care hospitals, the MDPH expected that a vaccination rate of 90% would be achieved during the 2014-2015 flu season.

Starting with the 2012-2014 flu season, the employees that could be included in the vaccination data and the formula by which acute care hospitals calculated their employee flu vaccination rate changed. The revised formula did not allow many part-time employees to be counted, many of whom were vaccinated. This formula excluded all employees who worked in the facility less than 30 days.

This formula, as set by the Joint Commission and the MDPH changed again for the 2013-2014 flu season.  This makes it challenging to make accurate comparison rates from year to year to determine if improvements are being made.  For the 2013-2014 season, the formula changred so that only those employees who did not work in the facility at least one day during flu season were excluded and could not be counted.

 Our vaccination efforts and using the revised formula resultedd in an overall vaccination rate of 85%.  More importantly, our direct care providers, those employees with the most contact with patients, achieved a 94% vaccination rate, which is considered the most important measure of flu protection for parents.

  • Current Scores
  • Scores Over Time
  • Higher values are better
72% 86% 85%

MGH Source: MGH Infection Control data
Comparison Group Source: MA Dept of Public Health (MDPH) / Center for Disease Control (CDC)

MGH / Comparison data: 2014-2015 Season

82 83 85 72 72 72 85 86 86

MGH Source: MGH Infection Control data
Comparison Group Source: MA Dept of Public Health (MDPH) / Center for Disease Control (CDC)

What are we doing to improve?

The hospital has implemented a computerized way for employees to identify if they have been vaccinated by a healthcare provider outside of MGH. Managers, department heads, and vice presidents receive reports during flu season to identify employees whom have not provided flu vaccination information. The Occupational Health Service continues to improve accessibility to flu vaccination for employees.

What can you do?

Get vaccinated! You should get vaccinated every flu season in the fall or early winter. Take precautions everyday 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 you can take flu antiviral drugs.

Useful Links

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Flu Information
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Cough Etiquette
Flu Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) Recommendations and Resources for the Control of Influenza


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