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November 1, 2019

View Archives Issues

  • Ensure Flu Vaccine Policies, Exemptions Are Clear, Equitable

    As more facilities adopt mandatory vaccination policies, they have to decide whether to allow exemptions. Some require influenza vaccination as condition of employment, while others allow specified exemptions. Medical exemptions may include allergy to vaccine components or a history of Guillain-Barré syndrome. One key to these policies appears to be consistency in making equitable arrangements, as workers denied religious exemptions have successfully sued through the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

  • Flu Vaccination Rates in Long-Term Care Workers Improving

    Improving healthcare worker flu vaccination in long-term care settings remains a challenge, but there are signs of improvement as more facilities are seeking “honor roll” status aimed at reaching higher immunization rates.

  • Presenteeism Common in Long-Term Care

    Results of a study using active surveillance for acute respiratory infection over a five-month period revealed that 89% of sick staff in a long-term care facility still reported to work. The facility established policies against such presenteeism, but they may need to be revised to minimize the pressure on staff not to miss work, the authors noted.

  • Burnout: The Signs of Onset, Methods of Prevention

    Burnout is a systemic problem in healthcare and a test of resilience for the individual worker. In a new book on a problem that has become epidemic, a physician draws on his own experience with burnout and interviews those who are susceptible to the condition or are surprisingly resilient.

  • Infectious Disease Groups Demand Border Patrol Administer Flu Shots to Detainees

    Leading clinicians and public health officials are strongly questioning the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol’s (CBP) decision not to vaccinate migrants in detention facilities against flu and other infections. The CBP should at the very least immunize employees so they do not bring the virus in to detainees or acquire it, experts say.

  • MERS Shows 16% Mortality Rate in Healthcare Workers

    A recently published analysis of reported MERS cases between December 2016 and January 2019 revealed that 26% of 403 cases in the region were healthcare workers. The case fatality rate was a disturbing 16% among healthcare workers, compared to 34% among patients. Only 1.9% of the healthcare workers infected had comorbidities compared to 71% in other MERS cases over the period.