What is FluSafe?
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What is FluSafe? (PDF)
FluSafe is a Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) program that recognizes Minnesota hospitals and nursing homes for high influenza (flu) vaccination rates among their health care personnel*.
Why is vaccinating health care personnel important?
Unvaccinated health care personnel can pass highly contagious flu to their patients, many of whom are at high risk for flu complications. While vaccination will not prevent every case of flu, it is an active step in decreasing disease and protecting patients.
The national rate of health care personnel flu vaccination is about 75 percent, but we still have a long way to go. That’s where FluSafe comes in!
What is the goal of FluSafe?
Healthy People 2020 has a goal of 90 percent flu vaccination coverage for health care personnel. Minnesota has a goal of 100 percent flu vaccination coverage for health care personnel who do not have medical exemptions.
FluSafe aims to help Minnesota hospitals and nursing homes meet these goals by facilitating friendly competition among health care facilities, creating transparency through public recognition, and supporting thorough and accurate tracking of flu vaccine coverage.
How does FluSafe work?
MDH provides tools and best practice guidance to help hospitals and nursing homes develop and implement vaccination programs and track their vaccination rates. Throughout the flu vaccination season, facilities enrolled in FluSafe enter their health care personnel’s vaccinations in the Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC), Minnesota’s immunization information system. They also submit a roster of their entire health care staff.
After March 31, MDH calculates the percentage of health care personnel at each participating facility that are vaccinated against flu. MDH then publically recognizes facilities reaching 70, 80, and 90 percent vaccination rates. Public recognition is done in late summer/early fall to kick off the next season of flu vaccination.
What are the benefits of FluSafe?
FluSafe is visible.
FluSafe offers an opportunity for facilities to be recognized for achieving employee flu vaccination rates of 70, 80, or 90 percent. Low vaccination rates among health care personnel can be very concerning for the public. Facilities that participate in FluSafe assure patients and their families that their health care personnel are actively working to prevent flu infection.
FluSafe emphasizes patient safety and quality improvement.
When health care personnel are protected from the flu, they are less likely to spread it to their patients. By participating in FluSafe, facilities publically demonstrate their commitment to patient safety and quality improvement.
FluSafe is practical.
FluSafe is an easy way to enhance existing vaccination campaigns and to begin new ones. FluSafe facilities have access to evidence-based tools and materials that reflect the most current vaccination information and best practice guidelines.
FluSafe supports e-Health standards.
FluSafe uses MIIC to measure health care personnel flu vaccination rates. Using MIIC is central to the Minnesota e-Health initiative and “meaningful use” objectives for hospitals. See Minnesota e-Health for more information about e-Health and meaningful use.
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*Definition of “health care personnel”
For purposes of FluSafe, this includes all paid employees who are physically present in the health care facility for at least one working day from Oct. 1 through March 31.