News Release: Emory Healthcare

Oct. 15,  2010

Emory Healthcare Honored for Employee Influenza Vaccination Program

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Representatives from Georgia Medical Care Foundation (GMCF) recently honored Emory Healthcare for the system’s successful employee influenza vaccination program, which reached a 100 percent compliance rate for the 2009-2010 influenza season.

Emory Healthcare is one of the only healthcare systems in the state to have implemented a mandatory flu vaccine policy for all employees in an effort to minimize the spread of influenza from caregivers and employees to patients and visitors. Every year in the United States, between five and 20 percent of the population contracts the flu. And on average, over 200,000 hospitalizations occurred each year as a result of influenza and its complications. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that flu vaccination is the most effective method for preventing the flu and its potentially severe complications.

“This recognition by Georgia Medical Care Foundation is an honor that every member of the Emory Healthcare community shares with our valued patients and their loved ones,” says Cynthia Hall, RN, director for employee health. “Emory Healthcare has adopted a culture that says we will do everything we can to care for and protect those who come to us for their medical needs. The 30 seconds it takes to roll up a sleeve and receive a vaccination that will not only protect that individual, but those around him or her, is a tremendous insurance policy, and a badge of honor for our thousands of employees.”

“Vaccination against seasonal influenza has proven to be an easy, safe and important way in which we create a safe, healthy environment,” says William Bornstein, MD, chief quality officer for Emory Healthcare. “Every year, patients in hospitals across the country contract influenza infection from health care workers. These patients are at increased risk of severe complications from influenza, including death. The commitment of our employees to protecting our patients, visitors and themselves sets the bar high for every hospital and healthcare organization nationwide, including Emory.”

“Emory Healthcare should certainly be proud that it is contributing to the CDC’s goal of having all healthcare employees receive annual vaccinations against influenza, and we are happy to recognize such a strong commitment to patient safety,” says Eric Goldstein, GMCF Prevention Team officer.

Earlier this year, Emory was also recognized by Joint Commission Resources as a “Gold Tier” hospital for having one of the top seasonal influenza vaccination rates for health care professionals and organizations. As part of the program, hospitals reporting a 90 percent or higher vaccination rate amongst employees were honored with Gold Tier status. Those hospitals reporting at least a 75 percent rate were recognized with Silver Tier and a reporting rate of at least 65 percent were awarded Bronze.

GMCF is a not-for-profit, physician-sponsored organization that provides innovative health care solutions focused on quality improvement, utilization management, medical review and health care outcomes research. For more than 20 years GMCF has served as the Medicare Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) for Georgia through a contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. For more information, please visit www.gmcf.org.

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The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service.

Learn more about Emory’s health sciences:
Blog: http://emoryhealthblog.com
Twitter: @emoryhealthsci
Web: http://emoryhealthsciences.org

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