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 2017-2018 flu season. Performance fell below the statewide rate of 93% and MDPH goal of 90% across Massachusetts acute care hospitals. Early results from the 2018-2019 flu season show a significant increase in employee vaccination.

  • Current Scores
  • Scores Over Time
  • Higher values are better
89% 93% 84%

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

MGH / Comparison data: 2017-2018 Season

84 83 83 84 84 84 79 86 89 88 92 86 91 93 92

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 all employee influenza vaccines administered by Occupational Health Services and peer vaccinators in clinical areas, as well as Partners Network providers. Employees vaccinated outside of Partners are required to submit documentation to Occupational Health. 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. In 2018, MGH began requiring all employees, professional staff, students, volunteers, and non-employees to receive the annual flu vaccine. Employees who are unable to receive it due to a medical contraindication or deeply held religious belief must file an exemption request. Occupational Health reviews all medical exemption requests, while Human Resources reviews all religious exemption requests.        

What can you do?

Get vaccinated! Science and experience have demonstrated that the most effective way to prevent the spread of flu is through vaccination. You should get a flu shot each year, 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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