Posted Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Rhode Island Hospital has received a Bronze Recognition Award from the Joint Commission Resources (JRC) for its success in the JRC Flu Vaccination Challenge, a national program to increase flu vaccination rates among health care workers. During the 2011-2012 flu season, Rhode Island Hospital achieved a staff vaccination rate of 76 percent among health care workers, earning the Bronze Recognition Award.
“Our employees are our most valuable resource,” said Timothy J. Babineau, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital. “Each year we treat thousands of patients for flu and flu-related illnesses, and it’s critical that our staff be protected so that they can effectively care for our patients.”
Flu vaccination of health care workers is important not only to help protect themselves, but also to reduce the likelihood that patients or the individuals served will be exposed to the flu. The current national flu vaccination average among health care workers is nearly 64 percent, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
From September 2011 to April 2012, Rhode Island Hospital held free flu vaccination clinics on campus for all employees. Additionally, employees could receive a free vaccine at Employee Health Services, also on campus.
Every year in the United States, between 5 and 20 percent of the population may become infected with the flu. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on average, more than 200,000 people in the United States are hospitalized each year for respiratory and heart illnesses associated with seasonal flu infections. Additionally, over a period of 30 years, between 1976 and 2006, estimates of flu-associated deaths in the United States ranged from a low of approximately 3,000 to a high of approximately 49,000 people.
The JRC is a not-for-profit affiliate of The Joint Commission, an independent, not-for-profit organization that accredits and certifies more than 19,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States.
Filed under: RIH,