NEWTON, Kan. — A survey conducted by the Kansas Healthcare Collaborative on hospital health care worker immunizations for the seasonal flu is completed, and the results are in: Newton Medical Center achieved the highest vaccination rate — 82 percent — for the 2010–2011 season, compared with national and state averages.
While an overwhelming majority of health care workers in Kansas’ hospitals are protecting themselves and their patients by receiving the seasonal influenza vaccine, Newton Medical Center is leading the charge. The hospital’s current vaccination rate jumps from 78 percent in 2009–2010 and 59 percent in 2008–2009. By comparison, 78 percent of Kansas’ health care workers received the vaccine for the 2010–2011 flu season, up from 67 percent in 2009–2010 and 64 percent in 2008–2009. The national average hovers around 62 percent.
As part of the effort to decrease health-care-associated infections, the Kansas Healthcare Collaborative, in partnership with the Kansas Hospital Association and the Kansas Medical Society, started a four-year campaign in 2010 to increase the number of hospital health care workers receiving annual influenza immunizations. The results of this survey indicate positive change throughout the health care system.
“Studies show that the flu can cause as many as 48,000 deaths in the United States in any given year,” said Steve Kelly, president and CEO of Newton Medical Center. “While our immunization rate for health care workers is above both the national and state averages, we recognize that there is room for improvement. Our hospital has established a goal to increase our seasonal influenza immunization rate to 100 percent by 2014.” This goal is consistent with a provider-led statewide project sponsored by the Kansas Healthcare Collaborative.
Founded in 2008 by the Kansas Medical Society and Kansas Hospital Association, the mission of the Kansas Healthcare Collaborative is to transform health care through patient-centered initiatives that improve quality, safety and value.
Newton Medical Center is a comprehensive 103-bed hospital in Newton, Kan., offering full-service medical care in Harvey, Butler and northern Sedgwick counties. For more information about Newton Medical Center, call 316-283-2700 or visit www.newtonmedicalcenter.com.