Author: Elizabeth Ransom, M.D., FACS, chief medical officer, Providence Central Division
“The best way to protect yourself and your patients is to receive an influenza vaccine. Reports on this year’s influenza vaccine effectiveness are really good.” (Johns Hopkins - What's in Store for the Upcoming Respiratory Virus Season? July 28, 2023)
Providence Oregon is working to ensure that our employed medical staff, affiliated medical staff and caregivers are vaccinated against the flu to protect ourselves, our patients and our community. We do our best to make it as easy and convenient as possible for our providers and care teams.
The flu vaccine reduces the severity of illness if you happen to get the flu despite the vaccine, and it lowers the risk of transmitting flu to others.
Providence’s influenza policy requires the following groups to either accept the influenza vaccination or complete the process to decline:
- All medical staff, both employed and non-employed
- All caregivers, volunteers and students
- Anyone who works in patient care areas in a facility, clinic or ambulatory setting
- Anyone who has reason to enter a patient care setting
Those who decline the flu vaccine must fill out and submit a declination form.
There are three easy options for medical staff to receive their flu vaccination: (1) participate in mass vaccination events held at our Providence Oregon hospitals, (2) schedule an appointment with Caregiver Health Services, or (3) get your vaccine elsewhere and report it to Caregiver Health Services.
Option 1: Mass vaccination event
Mass vaccination events are open to all Providence-employed and non-employed medical staff. If you choose this option, just show up and complete the consent information. If you are a non-employed medical staff member and need documentation for other employers, please ask for a copy or take a picture of the flu vaccination documentation.
When and where to participate
The flu events will be held Sept. 25 through Oct. 31 at all eight Providence Oregon acute care hospitals:
MASS VACCINATION EVENTS – OREGON
Option 2: Schedule an appointment with Caregiver Health Services
Caregiver Health Services is happy to vaccinate our employed and non-employed medical staff. Caregiver Health Services collaborates with the regional medical staff office so that your vaccine can be counted for national reporting requirements.
Business hours and locations for Caregiver Health Services are:
Option 3: Report your vaccination received elsewhere
If you are a Providence caregiver and receive the flu vaccine outside of Providence, please complete your attestation on the Caregiver Health Services Pure Safety Portal. You also may email a completed flu attestation form or send a copy of the documentation you received from your flu vaccination. Please include your name, DOB, and employee ID to: Caregiver Health Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a non-employed clinician, email a completed flu attestation form or send a copy of the documentation you received from your flu vaccination. Please include your name and DOB to: Caregiver Health Services at email@example.com.
Religious or medical exceptions
If you’re unable to receive the vaccination for religious reasons or medical contraindication, you must complete an influenza declination form and send it to Caregiver Health Services at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Medical staff and workforce members who have not received the vaccine for any reason will comply with masking requirements continuing though the end of influenza season, typically April 30, unless otherwise recommended by Providence Infection Prevention, department of public health, or local health authority) (Influenza Vaccination Policy, 2023)
Why should you get a flu vaccine?
We strongly encourage all caregivers and medical staff, even those who do not provide direct patient care, to be vaccinated against influenza. It’s the most effective step to help prevent contracting and spreading the flu.
In addition to the flu vaccine, please use good hand hygiene, wear your face mask and stay home if you are sick.
As flu season intensifies, we sometimes ask families to limit their access when visiting our most vulnerable patients. You will be notified if influenza visitation policies go into effect.
Documenting and reporting flu vaccines
Providence is required to report annually to the Oregon Health Authority and the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) the influenza vaccination rates of all our caregivers, licensed independent practitioners, contractors, adult volunteers, and adult students.
For more information
Visit the Flu Immunization Campaign site. This is an internal site accessible only to Providence employees. (https://providence4.sharepoint.com/sites/FluVaccinationResources)
As always, we appreciate your partnership in working together to reduce the impact of influenza season. This year, more than ever before, it’s important for medical staff and caregivers to work together to protect our communities and ourselves.
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