This image is displayed on a page from the health care system offering H1N1 information for patients and families.

Health System Goes All-Out for Employee Vaccination

Cook Children's Health Care System of Fort Worth, Texas, has boosted its employees' flu vaccination rates from 66 percent to 84 percent in the past two years.

Active and committed leadership, innovative communications, and all-out effort are part of the winning recipe at Cook Children's Health Care System of Fort Worth, Texas, which has boosted its employees' flu vaccination rates from 66 percent to 84 percent in the past two years. This year's vaccination program will achieve at least 85 percent, Joyce Hood, MPH, RN, COHN-S, director of Occupational Health Services, said in an interview Friday. The system won an American Nurses Association Best Practices in Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Campaign award last year.

Hood co-wrote an AAOHN Journal article explaining how the system developed and carried out its 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 vaccination programs for the more than 4,500 employees working at a medical center, a physician network, a home health company, a health foundation, and the health care system. Hood's co-author is Andrea Smith, Ph.D., RN, CPNP, director of Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice for Cook Children's Medical Center.

"We have a very strong program to build on. You have to do whatever it takes to remove the barriers to vaccination," Hood said. If that means opening at 5:30 a.m. and providing vaccinations on weekend nights to workers scheduled at those times, that's what you do, she said.

The system cares for children and saw a surge of flu cases last spring. Its Swine Flu Team meets regularly and communicates with employees via intranet and e-newsletters. The theme of the system's vaccination program this year is "Take Three for You and Me" -- building on CDC's "Take Three" theme, it encourages workers to take the seasonal and H1N1 flu shots for themselves, those they care for, and those they love, Hood said. On the intranet site, a filled syringe from which vaccine diminished as the vaccination rate rose was a popular tool last year, and it will be repeated this year, she said.

Support from upper management "is the key element, to be honest with you," she said. Photos of the leaders being vaccinated at an October meeting will be distributed to show their support.

In a Sept. 3 H1N1 briefing, CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden offered reassurance about the safety of this year's flu vaccines but also promised his agency "will look very, very carefully to see whether there's a problem with this vaccine in terms of safety. We don't anticipate that there will be. It's produced in the same way the flu vaccine is produced each year. It's a new strain, just as we put new strains into the flu vaccine each year, and flu vaccination has a long-term, very good safety record with literally hundreds of millions of doses having been given."

Click here to read Cook Children's H1N1 advice to patients and families and here for the latest federal government information about the flu.

Download Center

  • Safety Metrics Guide

    Is your company leveraging its safety data and analytics to maintain a safe workplace? With so much data available, where do you start? This downloadable guide will give you insight on helpful key performance indicators (KPIs) you should track for your safety program.

  • Job Hazard Analysis Guide

    This guide includes details on how to conduct a thorough Job Hazard Analysis, and it's based directly on an OSHA publication for conducting JHAs. Learn how to identify potential hazards associated with each task of a job and set controls to mitigate hazard risks.

  • A Guide to Practicing “New Safety”

    Learn from safety professionals from around the world as they share their perspectives on various “new views” of safety, including Safety Differently, Safety-II, No Safety, Human and Organizational Performance (HOP), Resilience Engineering, and more in this helpful guide.

  • Lone Worker Safety Guide

    As organizations digitalize and remote operations become more commonplace, the number of lone workers is on the rise. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies. This guide was created to help employers better understand common lone worker risks and solutions for lone worker risk mitigation and incident prevention.

  • EHS Software Buyer's Guide

    Learn the keys to staying organized, staying sharp, and staying one step ahead on all things safety. This buyer’s guide is designed for you to use in your search for the safety management solution that best suits your company’s needs.

  • Vector Solutions

Featured Whitepaper

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - June 2022

    June 2022

    Featuring:

    • SAFETY CULTURE
      Corporate Safety Culture Is Workplace Culture
    • HEAT STRESS
      Keeping Workers Safe from Heat-Related Illnesses & Injuries
    • EMPLOYEE HEALTH SCREENING
      Should Employers Consider Oral Fluid Drug Testing?
    • PPE FOR WOMEN
      Addressing Physical Differences
    View This Issue