The Standard IC.02.04.01 Influenza Vaccinations for Licensed Independent Practitioners and Staff For CAH, HAP, and LTC seeks to reduce the rate of infection of patients by influenza virus, which they may transmit top other personnel or to patients. The standard was approved in September 2011 for implementation in July 2012. This paper seeks to assess the standard so as to see ways it can be improved.
Health care associated infections (HAIs) remain a source of concern. About five percent of inpatients have an infection that is associated with their healthcare. To deal with the outcomes of this problem, the government loses a lot of money and thousands of lives are lost. For this reason, the government must at all times strive to ensure that this problem is reduced with time (Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 2014). One such infection is influenza.
Food and Drug Administration (2009) suggests that the mission of ensuring the safety of patients should include the vaccination of heath care personnel. This is because the contamination of health care personnel could lead to in healthcare settings that could even lead to loss of lives.
Guidelines and Criteria
In a research carried out to determine if health care personnel get the much needed vaccination, the Joint Commission (2011) found that different departments react different differently to vaccinations. It found that over 90 % of hospital personnel and personnel got vaccination from their respective institutions. It also found out that over 85% of Long term care personnel, over 65 % of ambulatory and office based surgery personnel, over 60% of behavioral health care personnel, over 50 % of laboratory care and 40 % of home care personnel worked in institutions which offered vaccination fro its members voluntarily and regularly. Also, about 55 % of hospital/ critical access hospital claimed that their organization conducted regular measurement of influenza vaccination rates. Over 45 %, 35%, 25% and about 30 % of long term care, ambulatory, behavioral care and laboratory care personnel worked in institutions where the rate of vaccination was continuously measured. The FDA says that CDC has estimated the number of those hospital personnel as around 40 % currently.
The standard is intended to bring the vaccination up to 90 % by 2020. In the mean time, the coverage remains way below 60 % which is the national health objective. The standard therefore seeks to ensure that all institutions obtain a plan their vaccination program in such a way that they align themselves with the government objectives.
So as to have uniform measures, the standard requires that all organizations use either of two performance measures that are made by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These two methods are favored for their clarity, and the fact that it can be used in any health care systems. On the other hand, obtaining data for the two systems is not easy.
Another aspect of the standard that may be overlooked is the error. It is stated that the effectiveness of the vaccine ranges from 70 to 90 percent. According to this information, the shot stands to fail up to 30 percent of the time. This is rather high fro a medical prescription. The error should be a maximum of 5 %. Other research studies use even smaller errors such as 0.5 % (Petrie & Sabin, 2009). This error is likely to greatly affect the effect of the effectiveness of the data.
The standard also undermines the use of general hygiene. It should stand boldly for hygiene as not all people will be able to access the vaccine. Those unable to access the vaccine would then be left with no option but to wait getting infected. The standard cannot work independently. It should seek the assistance of other methods to fight against influenza and other HAIs. It should highlight the importance of other methods towards preventing influenza. This way, the government would have more funds to direct to other activities such as research and obtaining other funds.
In conclusion, influenza
falls in a category of illnesses that are easily communicable from patients to
their physicians and the other around. The government has put up measures to
ensure that by 2020 about 90 % of health workers would be using their vaccines
to reduce the probability of transmitting influenza from and to patients. The
standard is a great place to start. It is however surrounded by values which
are unsure. The standard also claims to be effective 70 % of the time. This is
a very big boundary of error. It should be minimized by further research. The fact
that it has only minimal side effects is also very commendable. It is however
likely that other side effects may be discovered in the future. The government
should however be more proactive towards ensuring that the future is brighter
for both patients and health workers.
Food and Drug Administraion. (2009). Prevent Health Care-Associated Infections (HAIs) | Health.gov (ODPHP). Retrieved from http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Post-MarketActivities/LotReleases/ucm063035.htm
Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2014). Retrieved from www.health.gov/hai/prevent_hai.asp
Petrie, A., & Sabin, C. (2009). Medical statistics at a glance. Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
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