Forty-seven Oklahoma hospitals and hospital specialty units have met a challenge from the Oklahoma Hospital Association to achieve a health care worker influenza vaccination rate of 96 percent or higher during the 2018-2019 flu season.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): “Influenza places a substantial burden on the health of people in the United States each year. CDC estimates that influenza has resulted in between 9.2 million and 35.6 million illnesses, between 140,000 and 710,000 hospitalizations and between 12,000 and 56,000 deaths annually since 2010.”
“And the risk of complications from influenza is higher among the types of people who are admitted to our hospitals,” said LaWanna Halstead, vice president of quality and clinical initiatives, Oklahoma Hospital Association. “These hospitals have developed policies and processes that ensure their patients and employees are protected.”
Hospitalized patients are particularly vulnerable to the dangers of influenza because their immune systems are often compromised by the illness that caused their admission or by the treatments they are undergoing. Vaccination of health care personnel (HCPs) has been shown to prevent illness and death in patients and reduce influenza and absenteeism among HCPs. The CDC has recommended annual vaccination of HCPs since 1984. Several key national professional organizations have endorsed mandatory policies for influenza vaccination as a condition of employment within health care facilities, including the American
Hospital Association. In 2011, the Oklahoma Hospital Association board of trustees developed a position statement urging mandatory influenza policies.
Hospitals meeting the 96 percent challenge are: Arbuckle Memorial Hospital, Sulphur – Bailey Medical Center, Owasso – Blackwell Regional Hospital – Cherokee Nation W.W. Hastings Indian Hospital, Tahlequah – Chickasaw Nation Department of Health, Ada – Choctaw Nation Health Services Authority, Talihina – Creek Nation Community Hospital, Okemah – Eastern Oklahoma Medical Center, Poteau – Grady Memorial Hospital, Chickasha – Hillcrest Hospital Claremore – Hillcrest Hospital Cushing – Hillcrest Hospital Pryor – INTEGRIS Bass Pavilion, Enid – INTEGRIS Canadian Valley Hospital, Yukon – INTEGRIS Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation, Oklahoma City – INTEGRIS Southwest Medical Center, Oklahoma City – Jackson County Memorial Hospital, Altus – McAlester Regional Health Center – McBride Orthopedic Hospital, Oklahoma City – Mercy Hospital Ada – Mercy Hospital Ardmore – Acute Care – Mercy Hospital Ardmore – Rehab-IRF – Mercy Hospital Ardmore Senior Behavioral Health-IPF – Mercy Health Love County, Marietta – Mercy Hospital Healdton – Mercy Hospital Kingfisher – Mercy Hospital Logan County, Guthrie – Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City- Mercy Rehabilitation Hospital Oklahoma City – Norman Regional Health System – Norman Regional HealthPlex – Okeene Municipal Hospital and Medical Clinic – Oklahoma Heart Hospital, Oklahoma City – Oklahoma Heart Hospital South, Oklahoma City – Oklahoma Surgical Hospital, Tulsa – Purcell Municipal Hospital – Seiling Regional Medical Center – Select Specialty Hospital Oklahoma City – Share Medical Center, Alva – SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital – Oklahoma City – SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital – Shawnee – St. John Broken Arrow – St. John Medical Center, Tulsa – St. John Owasso – St. John Sapulpa – St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, Enid – Stillwater Medical, Perry – Stillwater Medical Center – The Children’s Rehabilitation Hospital, Bethany – Wagoner Community Hospital