Health System Honored for Mandating Influenza Vaccination for All Healthcare Personnel

Cody Regional Health (CRH) has been recognized by the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) for instituting a mandate that all healthcare personnel receive influenza vaccination every year. The mandate also includes further measures (such as masking while at work) to help protect patients from influenza transmission due to workers who cannot be vaccinated.

Cody Regional Health is one of four healthcare systems in Wyoming that 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 650 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.

“Our leadership team realized how important this step would be for our organization in order to keep our patients as safe as possible. It was not an easy task to mandate every employee to receive the flu vaccine or wear a mast for almost 6 months but has been worth it in the end,” stated Human Resource Officer, Dick Smith at CRH.

Cody Regional Health instituted its mandatory influenza vaccination policy on October 1, 2017, and took additional steps to prevent the transmission of influenza to patients. The vaccination rate for all employees at Cody Regional Health in 2017 was at 94.8 percent.

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.

“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. “ Cody Regional Health’s 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,” said Wexler.

For assistance with this story, please contact Ashley Trudo at Cody Regional Health at atrudo@wphcody.org or (307) 578-2512.

About Cody Regional Health

Cody Regional Health (CRH) is a national leading critical care 25-bed acute-care state-of-the-art facility. CRH employs and partners with over 60 physicians and offers over 20 different services, with an adjacent Long-Term Care Center licensed for 94 beds, a 16-bed chemical dependency center, 8-bed hospice house, regional cancer center, satellite physicians clinics and urgent care center. CRH abides by the Planetree philosophy as a model of health care. The Planetree model strives to enhance patient comfort by personalizing, humanizing and demystifying the health care experience. www.codyregionalhealth.org.

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