On Being the First: Virginia Mason Medical Center and Mandatory Influenza Vaccination of Healthcare Workers

Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee 37232, USA.
Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology (Impact Factor: 3.94). 09/2010; 31(9):889-92. DOI: 10.1086/656211
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives Nursing home (NH) employee influenza vaccination is associated with reductions in morbidity and mortality among residents. Little is known regarding associations between NH characteristics and employee influenza vaccination rates (EVRs). This study identifies NH characteristics that may be associated with EVRs. Design Data on employee vaccination rates and programs were gathered from the Office for Oregon Health Policy and Research reports for 3 influenza seasons from 2009 to 2012 and merged with Online Survey, Certification, and Reporting files, from which facility characteristics were obtained. Market controls were obtained from the 2010 Area Health Resource File. Multivariate linear and logistic regression were used to model relationships between facility characteristics and EVR per facility per year, whether formal education for employees was conducted, and whether 2010, 2015, and 2020 Healthy People targets were met. Setting Oregon nursing homes from 2009 to 2012. Participants NHs reporting sufficient data to calculate an EVR were included. Based on information obtained from 2009–2010, 2010–2011, and 2011–2012 surveys, EVRs were calculated for 113/140, 129/141, and 137/140 (81%, 91%, and 98% of) NHs, respectively. Measurements Dependent variables were EVR per facility per year, whether formal education for employees was conducted, and whether 2010, 2015, and 2020 Healthy People targets were met. Independent variables included facility characteristics and market controls. Results On average, chain-affiliated NHs had 9% higher EVRs (P = .01) and 73% higher odds of achieving 60% EVR (2010 target, P = .05) than free-standing NHs. For-profit NHs had, on average, 8% lower EVRs (P = .04) than not-for-profit NHs. Surprisingly, a 10% increase in proportion of Medicaid residents was associated with a 2% increase in EVR (P = .01) and higher odds of achieving 60% (odds ratio = 1.20, P = .004) and 70% (2015 target, odds ratio = 1.14, P = .05) EVR. Conclusion Given that NHs generally have low employee influenza vaccination rates, it may be necessary to target low-performing facilities to achieve substantial improvements. However, significant correlates of this study cannot be easily addressed by NH management or policymakers. Without policy change encouraging key components of vaccination programs, public reporting may be insufficient to improve EVRs.
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