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Joint Commission Update for Infection Control
Joint Commission pushing for flu shot improvement
Expanded standards under field review
As this issue went to press, more stringent standards for influenza immunization of hospital workers were under consideration by the Joint Commission. As proposed in a field review open to comment through May 17, hospitals would have to document and report flu immunization efforts more completely and strive for continuous improvement.
Infection control standard 02.04.01 currently requires that hospitals establish an annual influenza vaccination program that is offered to licensed independent practitioners and staff. The Joint Commission is proposing adding the following stipulations and performance aspects to the standard:
The hospital includes in its infection control plan the goal of improving influenza vaccination rates.
The hospital sets incremental influenza vaccination goals, consistent with achieving the 90% rate established in the national influenza initiatives for 2020.
The hospital develops a written description of the methodology used to determine influenza vaccination rates. All hospital staff and licensed independent practitioners are to be included in the methodology for determining the influenza vaccination rates.
The hospital evaluates the reasons given by staff and licensed independent practitioners for declining the influenza vaccination at least annually.
The hospital improves its vaccination rates according to its established goals and at least annually.
The hospital provides influenza vaccination rate data to key stakeholders including leaders, licensed independent practitioners, nursing staff, and other staff at least annually.
(For more on the Joint Commission field review on flu immunization in hospitals and other settings go to: http://bit.ly/ew1yv2)