Did you know influenza is the third leading cause of death in NYC for 10 years in a row? Flu vaccination programming is a crucial piece of compliance that is of utmost importance in the home care and hospice industries.
QIRT Clinical consultants spend hours out in the field working hands-on with home care and hospice agencies to ensure safety and compliance standards are being upheld. Among these standards are state and federal flu vaccination requirements. Establishing process and documentation is good business practice, yet somehow QIRT consultants are still seeing agencies that do not have monitoring systems in place to ensure home health staff is adhering to even basic practices such as wearing masks.
Educate Employees and Stay Current
Agencies have to deal with staff that decline influenza vaccination. Unvaccinated staff must conform to compliance standards as well. Here is how:
- Promote flu vaccination in the community for employees, their patients, & their families. Let everyone know where & when they can get the flu vaccination and why it is important. You can also provide someone to dispense the vaccine at your location.
- Keep a list of staff that decline, find out why, & provide specific education about flu vaccination. Education can be included in their paychecks, with phone calls, or on a one-to-one basis.
- Staff members who decline the flu vaccine must fill out a declination form, which must be placed in their personnel file. Quarterly audits should be done to ensure that they are located in the file of each staff member who declined the flu vaccine.
Understand Employee Practices
Here are 3 helpful ways to ensure vaccine-declining staff is compliant with flu vaccine standards during flu season:
- Randomly call 10% of patient/caregivers on a monthly basis for declining staff to ensure they wear masks in the home.
- Ask about employee compliance on patient satisfaction surveys upon patient discharge from agency.
- Have agency staff make unannounced home visits for declining staff to ensure they are wearing masks.
Ultimately, your agency’s number one priority is your patients’ health. Employee flu vaccination promotion is a huge step toward promoting that health, and agencies need to be proactive in trying to get all staff members vaccinated.