As hospitals prepare for the upcoming flu season, increased emphasis is being placed on vaccinating their employees. Only 40 percent of health care workers in the United States are vaccinated annually, despite long-standing recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
However, hospitals are working one-by-one to turn those numbers around. Georgetown Hospital System, for example, continues to strive for different results. Beginning in 2009, the CEO Bruce Bailey decided he wouldn't take no for an answer when the Low Country hospital system received its supply of H1N1 flu vaccine. That fall, Bailey made employee vaccinations mandatory in August and September. At that time, 99 percent of the employees were vaccinated.
Two years later, Georgetown Hospital System is still increasing participation. This year, they surpassed previous goals with 99.9 percent staff compliance for the 2011-2012 flu vaccine campaign.
Other hospitals, including AnMed Health and Greenville Hospital System, have also made employee vaccinations manadatory.