River’s Edge Hospital & Clinic in St. Peter was one of 139 hospitals and nursing homes from around the state recognized by the Minnesota Department of Health for achieving high influenza vaccination rates among facility employees during the 2016-17 flu season. More than 90 percent of the staff received the influenza vaccination, earning a blue ribbon from the MDH.
The FluSafe program aims to get 100 percent of all health care personnel at hospitals and nursing homes in Minnesota, except those with medical exemptions, vaccinated against influenza each season. According to state health officials, unvaccinated health care workers can potentially pass highly contagious influenza to their patients, many of whom are at high risk for complications from influenza.
“Our patients’ health is our top priority,” said Janelle Rauchman, Chief Quality Officer of River’s Edge Hospital. “Participating in the FluSafe program helps us increase employee influenza vaccination rates and prevent flu from spreading to our patients. We also want all of our employees to be as healthy as possible during flu season.”
Health care facilities participating in the FluSafe program receive guidance and access to tools and promotional materials from MDH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help them increase their influenza vaccination rates. The facilities record and document their vaccination rates through the state’s immunization information system, the Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC).
More information on the FluSafe program, including a list of the 2016-17 facilities earning blue, red, and white ribbons, can be found on mdhflu.com.