A local hospital was recently recognized for its ongoing efforts in promoting a healthy community.
Bailey Medical Center was among 44 Oklahoma hospitals to meet a challenge from the Oklahoma Hospital Association to achieve a health care worker influenza vaccination rate of 96% or higher during the 2020-21 flu season.
The Owasso hospital also met OHA’s annual challenge in 2016 and 2019, with its most recent achievement also occurring amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Influenza has resulted in between 9.2 million and 35.6 million illnesses, between 140,000 and 710,000 hospitalizations and between 12,000 and 56,000 deaths annually since 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
“And the risk of complications from influenza is higher among the types of people who are admitted to our hospitals,” said LaWanna Halstead, vice president of quality and clinical initiatives, Oklahoma Hospital Association. “These hospitals have developed policies and processes that ensure their patients and employees are protected.”
Hospitalized patients are particularly vulnerable to the dangers of influenza because their immune systems are often compromised by the illness that caused their admission or by the treatments they are undergoing. Vaccination of health care personnel has been shown to prevent illness and death in patients and reduce influenza and absenteeism among HCPs. The CDC has recommended annual vaccination of HCPs since 1984.