Wesley Immunization Rate Nears 100%

January 15, 2013

Wesley Medical Center in partnership with The Kansas Healthcare Collaborative (KHC) for the third year in a row has participated in reporting their immunization practices.  Survey results indicated an immunization rate for the 2011-2012 flu season of 97 percent participation, up 3 percent from last year’s survey.  The statewide rate for seasonal flu immunization for 2011-2012, based on a survey where 100 percent of Kansas hospitals participated, was 83 percent; well above the national average of 67 percent.

“Getting personal immunizations shows the commitment each Wesley team member has to the health and well-being of our patients and co-workers,” stated Don Morris, Wesley Chief Human Resources Officer.  “Even though Wesley’s current rate is above state and national averages, we believe there is always room for improvement and have set a goal to increase our seasonal influenza immunization rate to 100 percent by 2014.”

Flu season is upon us and the best way to prevent the flu is through annual flu immunizations.  In 2010, the Kansas Healthcare Collaborative (KHC) started a four-year campaign to increase the number of hospital healthcare workers receiving annual influenza immunizations as part of the effort to decrease healthcare-associated infections.

Wesley Medical Center and Galichia Heart Hospital staff and physicians received flu shots in October as part of their annual infection prevention program.  In all, 6,000 employees, volunteers, physicians and their family members were vaccinated, signified by a small gold sticker on their ID badges.  Those refusing the vaccine are required to wear masks for patient safety.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that healthcare workers have a role in the fight against flu, with immunization of workers linked to improved patient outcomes and reduced flu infection.  Studies show the flu can cause up to 48,000 deaths in the United States in a given year and the CDC for many years has recommended an annual influenza immunization for healthcare workers.  The influenza immunization of healthcare professionals is critical in eliminating the transmission and outbreaks of the virus in the healthcare setting.

Founded in 2008 by the Kansas Medical Society and the Kansas Hospital Associated, the mission of the Kansas Healthcare Collaborative is to transform healthcare through patient-centered initiatives that improve quality, safety and value.