Why should you care?
Children's Mercy shows its commitment to patient safety by
vaccinating its employees each year for the flu. During the most
recent flu season, 99.7 percent of all employees were vaccinated.
This helps protect our patients and families from acquiring the flu
while at the hospital.
Influenza is a viral illness that occurs every year around the
world and typically affects the Kansas City area beginning in
January or February. The flu virus spreads by droplets released
from an infected person via sneezing, coughing or talking. A
person can spread flu even before they feel sick and up to seven
days or longer after they start having symptoms. According to the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 200,000
individuals are hospitalized and 36,000 deaths occur due to flu in
the U.S. every year.
The CDC has long recommended that all health care workers receive a flu vaccine annually. Despite this recommendation, the flu
vaccination rate of all health care workers has remained poor,
typically around 40 percent. In 2010, the American Academy of Pediatrics
(AAP) issued a policy statement that yearly flu vaccination of
healthcare workers should be required. Children's Mercy follows the
AAP's recommendations and requires all employees to get a flu shot
each year. Exceptions are made for medical and religious
Who is impacted?
Everyone. The more Children's Mercy employees who receive the
vaccine, the less chance we will spread the flu to our patients,
their families or other employees.
What does all this mean?
Last season, more than 99 percent of our employees were
immunized, among the highest rates of hospitals in the United
States. We received a Gold Medal Award from the Joint Commission
Resources, Inc. which is given to hospitals who obtain a 95 percent or
above influenza vaccination rate of employees. This is the second
year in a row that we have received this award.
Employee Seasonal Flu Vaccine Rate: Number
of all employees (clinical and non-clinical) who received the
seasonal flu vaccine divided by the total number of employees,
shown as a percentage.
The graph shows rates by flu season. Flu
vaccines usually begin in September and continue through flu
season; in the Midwest, flu season typically starts in January and
lasts through March or April.
What do the most important people say?
As a parent, I bring my child to Children's Mercy because I
know that they will receive the best medical care available. It is
reassuring to know that every employee has an opportunity to get
the flu vaccine. This adds another layer of protection to every
visit, and lets me know that you truly care about providing the
safest environment for my child. - Parent of a Children's Mercy
Where can I go for more information?
To learn more about influenza:
- Visit the CDC's Free Flu Resources page to learn more
about the influenza virus.
- Read the Academy of Pediatrics Policy on Flu Vaccine for
Healthcare Workers. Pediatrics 2010, 126:809-815
- Visit Immunize.org or VaccineInformation.org to learn more from the
Immunization Action Coalition.
- Visit the Joint Commission Flu Challenge to learn more
about the Joint Commission Resources Flu Vaccination Trial.