The trusted source for
healthcare information and
Gary Evans writes Hospital Infection Control & Prevention (HIC), Hospital Employee Health (HEH) and contributes to IRB Advisor (IRB). As senior writer at AHC, Evans has written numerous articles on infectious disease threats to both patients and health care workers, including pandemic influenza, MERS and Ebola. He has been honored for excellence in analytical reporting five times by the National Press Club in Washington, DC.
More on cheap apathy in a minute, but first the award for most sensational Ebola headline on the pandemic raging across America (one case, hospitalized in isolation) goes to the UK’s Daily Mail for this Oct. 2, 2014 lurid beauty:
Up to 100 exposed already in Dallas Ebola shambles: Family tries to break out of isolation at virus victim's apartment where infected sheets still lie on the bed as visitors come and go
Close, but no zombies.
Here’s the real and really disturbing news of the day: Long-term care continues to lag in influenza immunization – despite the risk to vulnerable elderly residents. Only 54% of nurses’ aides in long-term care facilities reported that they received the flu vaccine in 2013-2014, according to a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some 43% of long-term care workers said their employers didn’t promote or require the vaccine, and 73% said flu vaccination wasn’t available on-site.
“It’s distressing that administrators of those facilities don’t provide the vaccine on site for free,” says William Schaffner, MD, chairman of the department of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. “Those are such elementary aspects of health care worker influenza immunization. I was stunned when I read that, frankly.”
Public health authorities and infection control organizations will likely place a new focus on long-term care, he says. Public reporting may eventually be on tap, as well.
“All the things that appear to be working in hospitals should apply to long term care facilities,” he says.
For more on this story see the November 2014 issue of Hospital Employee Health