News & Events

Record turn out for flu shots

December 7, 2012

Ninety-nine percent of Backus employees got their flu vaccinations, the highest number by far in the history of the institution.

“I would like to thank everyone for participating in this simple but very important patient safety initiative,” said Peter Shea, MD, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. “This was a true test of us putting patients first, and we passed with flying colors.”

This was the first year that Backus had a mandatory flu policy, approved by the Board and Medical Executive Committee. Employees who received waivers due to medical or religious

reasons will be required to wear an orange badge and a mask in patient care areas, which are defined by policy as “any portion of a health care facility wherein patients are intended to be examined or treated. This includes, but is not limited to, any areas where patients wait to be examined or treated, hallways and elevators.”

Non-patient care areas include an employee’s desk (if it is completely separate from patient care areas); shuttle bus; cafeteria; conference rooms; Business and Technology Center; warehouse; and the Lafayette Street building.

The Backus Medical Staff also took the mandatory flu shot policy seriously, with a similar vaccination rate.

“The medical staff at Backus believe in prevention and they led by example,” said Setu Vora, MD, Physician Director, Performance Improvement. “They reviewed the recommendations by various national societies and endorsed the requirement to get the flu shot.”

The flu season is off to its earliest start in nearly a decade, and health officials suspect it could be a bad year after last year’s mild season.

“It looks like it’s shaping up to be a bad flu season, but only time will tell,” said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.