FAQs on tracking flu vaccination rate

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention answers to common questions on reporting health care worker influenza vaccination rates include the following:

The HCP Influenza Vaccination Summary Form in NHSN defines the influenza season as July 1 to June 30. Does this mean that my facility is required to report on twelve months of data when we do not vaccinate for all twelve months?

No. Although influenza may occur any time of the year, you should report data for the period specified in the NHSN protocol, which is from October 1 to March 31 for the denominator, including all vaccinations given during the influenza season in the numerator. The July 1 to June 30 time period is used by NHSN to clearly define the end of one influenza season and the beginning of the next influenza season. For the 2012-2013 influenza season, NHSN is allowing facilities to report data for only half of the influenza season to align with the CMS rule that requires acute care hospitals to report data beginning on January 1, 2013. For subsequent influenza seasons, data for the entire reporting period (October 1 to March 31) are required to be reported as specified in the NHSN protocol.

What types of nurses are counted as licensed independent practitioners?

All advanced practice nurses should be included in the licensed independent practitioner category. Advanced practice nurses include nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, clinical nurse specialists, and nurse anesthetists.

Would you count health care personnel (HCP) who are not working with patients for 30 days or more, but because of staff meetings, etc. are physically in the facility for 30 days or more?

Yes. Individuals who perform any work duty in the facility for 30 days or more from October 1 to March 31, are included in the count, regardless of clinical responsibility or patient contact.

My acute care hospital owns several outpatient provider practices that are physically separate from the main hospital campus. Employees of these clinics are on the hospital's payroll, so should we include them in our HCP influenza vaccination reporting?

No. These employees should not be counted in the vaccination reports since they do not physically work in the acute care hospital.

Many of our HCP also work at another facility in town. Must they be reported by every facility at which they work?

Yes. These reports describe vaccination rates among HCP working at a specific facility, so all eligible HCP must be counted by each facility where they work.

My hospital is part of a multi-hospital system that has one corporate payroll. Each hospital has its own NHSN number, so how should each hospital report its total number of HCP?

Each facility should report the total number of HCP who physically work in that facility. If a healthcare worker (HCW) physically works in multiple facilities in the hospital system for 30 days or more from October 1 to March 31, this individual should be counted in the total number of HCP for each facility where he/she works.

Should I count an employee who starts at my facility after October 1, or leaves their position after October 1?

Yes. All employees, non-employee licensed independent practitioners, and non-employee students and volunteers aged 18 and older who physically work at the facility for 30 days or more from October 1 through March 31, regardless of exact stop and start dates, should be counted.

Should HCP who are employees of the healthcare system (e.g., university), but who are not hospital employees, be included?

Non-hospital employees should only be included if they are physically in the facility for 30 days or more from October 1 to March 31 and meet the criteria for either the licensed independent practitioner category or the adult students/trainees and volunteers category. They would not be in the employee category if they are not on the hospital's payroll.

Are other licensed contract workers/non-employees such as nurses, technicians, therapists, etc. reported?

Non-employee licensed or credentialed providers other than physicians, advanced practice nurses, and physician assistants are not required to be reported.