Compliance for Influenza Vaccinations Sets Record

After launching a much-publicized campaign in October to promote the influenza vaccination for faculty, staff, and students, the Mount Sinai Health System will report a record rate of vaccination compliance to the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) for the 2013 – 2014 influenza season.

Typically, vaccination rates for health care workers are around 60 percent, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Health System’s overall compliance rate was 82 percent at the start of April.

“Each hospital in the Health System contributed to this overall success,” says Jeremy Boal, MD, Chief Medical Officer of the Mount Sinai Health System. “This was an outstanding collaborative effort that surpassed our

75 percent target.”

At Mount Sinai Beth Israel, Manhattan and Brooklyn campuses, the compliance rate was 86 percent, followed by The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai Queens (82 percent), Mount Sinai St. Luke’s and Mount Sinai Roosevelt (81 percent), and New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai (78 percent). In total, 32,874 faculty, health care providers, and students received the influenza vaccination.

The effort involved dozens of staff from the Infection Control, Nursing, Emergency, and Environmental Health and Safety departments, and Employee Health and Wellness Service. “We are all extremely proud of the many health care workers who protected patients, their co-workers, themselves, and their families by getting vaccinated,” says Brian Koll, MD, Chairman of the Infection Prevention Committee for the Mount Sinai Health System, and Medical Director of Mount Sinai Beth Israel Infection Control and Prevention. “For those who chose not to get vaccinated, they adhered to the spirit of the law by masking.”

The campaign centered on an early and coordinated strategy to publicize the safety of the influenza vaccine and benefits of vaccination. Health care leaders at each hospital provided an unprecedented number of visible and convenient locations for staff to receive the influenza vaccine. Hospital lobbies and cafeterias, for example, as well as Grand Rounds and other large gatherings, became frequent venues for vaccination. Teams also offered the vaccine in patient care units.

“The engagement and commitment demonstrated by our front line staff and the associated support from leadership is a tribute to the strength of the Mount Sinai Health System team,” says Carol Porter, DNP, RN, FAAN, Edgar M. Cullman, Sr. Chair of the Department of Nursing. Dr. Porter is also Chief Nursing Officer/Senior Vice President, The Mount Sinai Hospital and Associate Dean of Nursing Research and Education, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

“This is a good reminder that influenza vaccination is the most effective way to prevent influenza infection among our patients, colleagues, and families,” says Madelynn Azar-Cavanagh, MD, MPH, Medical Director of Employee Health, Safety, and Wellness at the Mount Sinai Health System.

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