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Pratt Regional Medical Center Reports 99% of Health Care Workers Received the Flu Shot

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

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that health care 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 health care workers. The influenza immunization of health care professionals is critical in eliminating the transmission and outbreaks of the virus in the health care setting.

Locally, Pratt Regional Medical Center reports that more than 99% of their health care personnel including medical staff received a flu immunization during the 2011-2012 flu season. This is a 30% increase over 2010-2011, and 36% higher than the 2009-2010 immunization rate of 63%. 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.

While Pratt Regional Medical Center’s rate for health care workers is well above the national and state average, focus remains on keeping staff, patients, families and visitors educated in preventing the transmission of influenza with evidence-based practices like good hand hygiene, covering your cough or sneeze, limiting contact with others as much as possible to keep them from getting infected, and last, but never least- taking time to get a flu vaccine.

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

For more information about Pratt Regional Medical Center and our influenza immunization efforts, please contact Cecile Pearce at (620) 450-1169.

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