ELIZABETH, NJ - Trinitas Regional Medical Center has been recognized for the second consecutive year by the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) for instituting a mandate that all healthcare personnel receives the influenza vaccination every year.
Trinitas has recently been accepted onto IAC’s Influenza Vaccination Honor Roll (http://www.immunize.org/honor-roll/influenza-mandates/honorees.asp), now numbering more than 1100 organizations, which recognizes hospitals, healthcare systems and practices, long-term care facilities, and pharmacies that have instituted mandatory influenza vaccination policies to promote patient safety and prevent transmission of influenza.
“We are adamant about our policy as we believe it’s important to protect everyone the best way we can,” says Gary S. Horan, FACHE, President/CEO of Trinitas. “It makes sense for everyone involved including ourselves, our patients, their family members, and the community.”
There is widespread agreement that mandatory influenza vaccination policies benefit patients. Thirteen major health and medical groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American Hospital Association, have developed position statements supporting mandatory influenza vaccination for healthcare personnel. The mandate also includes further measures, such as masking while at work, to help protect patients from influenza transmission from workers who cannot be vaccinated because of medical or religious reasons.
“We are proud to say that our compliance for the hospital is at 97% for the second straight year for employees who have received the influenza vaccine,” according to Pat Thiel, RN, Director of Employee Health. “Aside from the remaining 3%, who are exempt, our program is in compliance with the new law passed by Governor Murphy that requires hospitals to implement an annual influenza vaccination program.”
In 2018, the New Jersey Department of Health gave its first Innovator’s Award to Trinitas in recognition of the high percentage of employees who were vaccinated against the flu.
“Healthcare settings have a responsibility to protect their patients from influenza, which may result in serious complications or even death for those who are infected with the virus,” said Deborah Wexler, MD, executive director of IAC. “Trinitas’ commitment to this policy for healthcare personnel shows that it is a leader in preventing influenza transmission in the workplace and in protecting the health and safety of patients.”