CME: Flu Vaccination Among Healthcare Professionals

CME: Flu Vaccination Among Healthcare Professionals

Studies have shown that influenza among healthcare personnel (HCP) increases absenteeism and the potential to spread the infection to patients as well as family and friends. Additional research indicates that influenza vaccination of HCP reduces morbidity and mortality among nursing home patients, a population shown to be highly vulnerable to influenza. To reduce influenza-related morbidity, mortality, and absenteeism among HCP and their patients, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends annual influenza vaccination for all HCP. The CDC conducted an opt-in internet panel survey of nearly 2,000 HCP to estimate adherence with the ACIP recommendation for the 2014-2015 influenza season. “We conducted an internet panel survey to obtain data on influenza coverage quickly following the end of an influenza season,” explains Carla L. Black, PhD, lead author of the study. “These data can then be used to enhance communication, messaging, and planning for the next influenza season.” Dr. Black notes that HCP are a relatively rare segment of the population, and performing a population-based survey would be time-consuming and expensive. “The Internet panel survey estimates might be inexact measures of influenza vaccination coverage, but we’ve conducted the same survey for several years and are able to look at trends in coverage,” she says. “We were also interested in vaccination-related attitudes, practices, and knowledge among HCP, which are hard to obtain with current larger, population-based surveys.” Key Findings According to survey participant reports received for the 2014-2015 influenza season, overall HCP vaccination coverage was 77%, a rate that was similar to that of the 2013-2014 season but higher than what was seen during the 2010-2011 season (Figure). Coverage was...
Flu Vaccination Among Healthcare Professionals

Flu Vaccination Among Healthcare Professionals

Studies have shown that influenza among healthcare personnel (HCP) increases absenteeism and the potential to spread the infection to patients as well as family and friends. Additional research indicates that influenza vaccination of HCP reduces morbidity and mortality among nursing home patients, a population shown to be highly vulnerable to influenza. To reduce influenza-related morbidity, mortality, and absenteeism among HCP and their patients, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends annual influenza vaccination for all HCP. The CDC conducted an opt-in internet panel survey of nearly 2,000 HCP to estimate adherence with the ACIP recommendation for the 2014-2015 influenza season. “We conducted an internet panel survey to obtain data on influenza coverage quickly following the end of an influenza season,” explains Carla L. Black, PhD, lead author of the study. “These data can then be used to enhance communication, messaging, and planning for the next influenza season.” Dr. Black notes that HCP are a relatively rare segment of the population, and performing a population-based survey would be time-consuming and expensive. “The Internet panel survey estimates might be inexact measures of influenza vaccination coverage, but we’ve conducted the same survey for several years and are able to look at trends in coverage,” she says. “We were also interested in vaccination-related attitudes, practices, and knowledge among HCP, which are hard to obtain with current larger, population-based surveys.” Key Findings According to survey participant reports received for the 2014-2015 influenza season, overall HCP vaccination coverage was 77%, a rate that was similar to that of the 2013-2014 season but higher than what was seen during the 2010-2011 season (Figure). Coverage was...
Guidance on HCP Attire to Prevent Infections

Guidance on HCP Attire to Prevent Infections

Healthcare personnel (HCP) attire is an aspect of the medical profession steeped in culture and tradition, according to Gonzalo Bearman, MD, MPH. “Apparel and appearance of HCPs have been linked with significant symbolism and professionalism, but we’ve recently increased our awareness of the potential role of attire in the transmission of healthcare- associated infections (HAIs).” HCP apparel can be contaminated with potential pathogens, but the role of clothing in the transmission of these microorganisms to patients has not been established. This has made it challenging to create generalizable, evidence-based recommendations on attire for non-operating room HCP. The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) recently analyzed available data on this topic and issued a guidance paper with reasonable recommendations for HCP attire. “The SHEA recommendations should not be viewed as a consensus guideline or as a standard of care,” explains Dr. Bearman, who was lead author of the paper and is a member of SHEA’s guidelines committee. “Instead, it’s intended to help acute care hospitals develop or modify policies relating to HCP attire.” The SHEA article evaluated and summarized the literature around the perception of both patients and HCP regarding attire in relation to professionalism and the potential risk for transmitting microorganisms. It also assessed the evidence for contamination of HCP attire and the potential for it to contribute to the transmission of pathogenic microorganisms in hospitals. In addition, a survey of the SHEA membership and SHEA Research Network was conducted to learn more about the policies related to HCP attire that are currently in place in members’ institutions. “Bare Below the Elbow” & White Coats The concept of...