Northfield Hospital & Clinics was recognized recently by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) for achieving high staff vaccination rates for influenza during the 2013-14 flu season.
Eighty-three percent of staff at Northfield Hospital & Clinics was vaccinated last year, earning it a “Red” rating. Ninety-two percent of Northfield Hospital Long Term Care Center was vaccinated, earning it a “Blue” rating.
FluSafe program’s goal is to vaccinate all health care personnel at hospitals and nursing homes in Minnesota against influenza each flue season, except those with medical exemptions. State health officials are concerned that unvaccinated health care workers can pass highly contagious influenza to their patients, many of whom are at high risk for complications from influenza.
“Our patients’ health is our top priority,” said Carol Nassif, Infection Prevention Coordinator at Northfield Hospital & Clinics. “Participating in the FluSafe program helps us increase employee influenza vaccination rates and prevent flu from spreading to our patients. We also want all of our employees to be as healthy as possible during flu season.”
Of the 213 facilities participating in FluSafe this year, 60 reached vaccination levels of 90 percent or greater, 63 reached levels greater than 80 percent, and 57 facilities reached vaccination rates of between 70 and 80 percent. There are approximately 145 hospitals and about 375 nursing homes in the state.
“Northfield Hospital & Clinics’ efforts to vaccinate their employees against flu highlights their dedication to keeping their staff and patients healthy,” said Kristen Ehresmann, director of the Infectious Disease Epidemiology Prevention and Control Division at MDH. “Facilities participating in FluSafe—whether they receive a ribbon or not—are key partners in preventing the spread of influenza by increasing health care worker vaccination.”
More information on the FluSafe program, including a list of the 2013-14 facilities earning blue, red and white ribbons, can be found on the MDH website at mdhflu.com.