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    MGMA Stat - Flu shots mandated - Aug. 1, 2017

    Flu season is just around the corner, is your practice ready? In the Aug. 1 MGMA Stat poll, 46% of respondents mandate flu vaccines for all staff – not just clinical staff or those in contact with patients – while 33% said they do not require flu vaccinations for any staff. The majority of organizations that do require the flu vaccine for any of their staff offer it in their own facility.

    According to the most recent data collected by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), early season vaccination coverage was much higher among staff whose employers required (85.8%) or recommended (68.4%) that they be vaccinated, compared with those whose employer did not have a recommendation (43.4%) during the 2014-15 season. So mandating the vaccine may have a big effect on how many of your employees get the shot.

    However, the idea of mandating flu shots for healthcare workers has received pushback in recent years, including a recent study that concludes the research use to justify mandatory vaccination is flawed.

    Still, the CDC recommends that all healthcare workers get vaccinated annually against influenza in order to enhance patient safety, including staff not directly involved in patient care but who could transmit the disease to other healthcare workers or patients. And make sure to check your state guidelines – some states require healthcare workers get vaccinated.

    Healthcare occupations with the highest coverage were pharmacists (86.7%), nonphysician providers (85.8%), physicians (82.2%), nurses (81.4%) and other clinical professionals (72%). Coverage was lowest among administrative and non-clinical support staff (59.1%), according to the CDC.
    And while you are thinking about how to prepare your practice for flu season, consider incorporating extended hours, as many practices have, to deal with the influx of sick patients.

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    Our ability at MGMA to provide great resources, education and advocacy depends on a strong feedback loop with healthcare leaders. To be part of this effort, sign up for MGMA Stat and make your voice heard in our weekly polls. Sign up by texting “STAT” to 33550 or visit mgma.com/stat. Polls will be sent to your phone via text message.


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