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Creighton University is among the first eight institutions nationally to be recognized for “stellar” examples of vaccination mandates in a healthcare setting.
The Honor Roll for Patient Safety list was posted online this week by the Immunization Action Coalition, a private nonprofit organization based in St. Paul, Minn., and supported in large part by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
To be included in the honor roll, an organization must require influenza vaccination for healthcare employees and include serious measures to prevent transmission of influenza from unvaccinated workers to patients.
“It’s a patient-safety issue,” said Donald Frey, MD, Creighton vice president for health sciences. “Just as patients should expect surgeons to wash their hands before surgery, they should also expect that their health care team is properly vaccinated against communicable diseases. While I expect mandatory vaccinations to become the national standard in the future, I am pleased that Creighton has been recognized for being ahead of the curve in the practice of safe medicine.”
In September, Creighton mandated that all University healthcare employees and students in clinical settings and childcare workers be vaccinated for seasonal and H1N1 influenzas by Dec. 1, with the university paying for the vaccinations.
The university’s Crisis Response Planning Committee began preparing for seasonal flu and a potential H1N1 pandemic this past spring. Since then, the committee, with the support of university leadership, has taken a number of actions to minimize the risk of influenza on campus.
Creighton is offering free vaccinations for seasonal flu to all students, faculty and staff as the vaccine becomes available. In addition, the university this week created a temporary shelter to isolate students with influenza from others living in three campus dormitories.
Other institutions making the Immunization Action Coalition’s honor roll include Loyola University Health System in Illinois, University of Iowa Hospitals, and Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.