Baylor Health Care System Recognized for Best Practices in Influenza Immunization

The American Nurses Association (ANA) has recognized Baylor Health Care System with a Best Practices in Seasonal Influenza Immunization award as part of a program designed to identify organizations that successfully increased vaccination rates of their employees. These best practices will be compiled into a guide book for use by health care systems and personnel around the country. In addition to Baylor, only four other organizations around the country, including Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, Maine; Childrens Hospital & Regional Medical Center in Seattle, Wash.; Emory HealthCare in Atlanta, Ga.; and Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio; were bestowed this honor.

Baylors influenza vaccination campaign achieved an employee vaccination rate of 64 percent (based on 14,000 employees), far exceeding the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-reported national rates of 36 percent to 43 percent for healthcare personnel, said Rosemary Luquire, RN, PhD, FAAN, CNAA, chief nursing officer for Baylor Health Care System. We are proud of the commitment by our nursing staff, who passionately implemented this campaign, as well as teams of employees in pharmacy, employee health, patient safety, infection control, human resources, and marketing. We are also thankful to Baylor leadership who supported our work.

We are honored to receive this award and will continue to stay on the leading edge of quality and patient safety, researching innovative and patient-centered approaches to the delivery of health care, said Joel Allison, president and CEO, Baylor Health Care System. Baylors vision is to be trusted as the best place to give and receive safe, quality, compassionate health care. By keeping our employees healthy, we are providing one more safeguard for the well-being of our patients and community.

It is well-known that the transmission of influenza from healthcare personnel to patients can create serious health care problems, especially among those who are at high risk for complications related to influenza. Baylors best practices around vaccinating its employees for influenza included:

significant involvement by nursing and executive leadership, as well as a physician champion, who invited employees to contact him anytime days, nights and weekends with questions or concerns about the vaccination.

ease and accessibility, including the employee health nurses traveling to areas where employees were gathered, such as the cafeterias and departmental meetings.

the implementation of an Intranet-based flu education program that all employees were required to complete.

a communications campaign utilizing fliers, newsletters and emails focusing on the importance of employee and patient safety related to influenza, as well as stickers bearing the slogan I Got My Flu Shot, given to employees who were vaccinated.

Source: American Nurses Association