07 Oct Improving Influenza Vaccination Rates Especially in Health Care Settings
Statistics show that high immunization rates of hospital employees produces lower mortality rates from influenza in hospitalized patients. Dr. Greg Poland of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. has passionately championed research to help drive health care organizations to improve compliance with influenza vaccination for the sake of hospitalized patients. Obviously education about influenza and its complications is important, but the most important factor in achieving compliance among employees is the endorsement, participation and support of the administration of the healthcare organization. This has prompted a growing number of hospitals to make influenza vaccination mandatory for all employees and volunteers. That kind of commitment takes a lot of courage but it has been shown to be an effective strategy for protecting hospitalized patients and keeping employees on the job during flu season.
As adults, we usually “catch” influenza from our children and grandchildren. They bring it home from school (that great mixing pot of nanobugs in a community) typically, in January when everyone returns from holiday vacation. This amplifies influenza infection in the school population and it is easily spread throughout the community. Hospitalized patients and residents of long-term care facilities, usually “catch” influenza from the employees who unintentionally transport the influenza virus from their homes to the workplace. SO the best way to keep the influenza nanobug from gaining access to those people who are most vulnerable, is to immunize as many of them as possible and their caregivers.
Improving influenza vaccination compliance is a project that every healthcare organization and community must begin to address this month. Nanobugs, inc can help promote compliance in any population or age group. The influenza virus nanobug character was deliberately created to stimulate people to develop their own strategy to avoid this potential troublemaker. The influenza nanobug and its’ slogan, “It gives me a kick, to make you sick!” is intended to make it one of those nanobugs “you love to hate”. (It is better to hate the pathogen than to hate the institutional policy-makers, or the children or the health care workers, right?)
One idea we champion, is to put an influenza virus tattoo on the forearm of each person who gets a shot. In this location the tattoo will wear off in about 10 days. At that time the vaccine will have stimulated the body’s production of antibodies to the influenza virus and the vaccinated person will be better able to handle an invasion of the virus. The image and animation of the influenza nanobug, along with its “profile” information will help create a fresh approach to improving compliance in health care, schools and community settings. We have a huge supply of influenza tattoos on hand for this purpose. We offer a Flu Prevention Kit with 500 tattoos, a Nanobugs Training Shirt to demonstrate and promote cough and sneeze etiquette and a flash drive with a Powerpoint program on the topic of influenza featuring the nanobugs, a Make-Your-Own Poster and a screensaver to promote handwashing (“and say Goodbye to the Nanobugs”).
The Nanobugs “Say Boo to the Flu” Halloween “treats” are a popular way to spread the word to children and their parents. (Check them out at www.nanobugs.com/shop/)
Please comment with ideas and successes in achieving compliance in your setting.