Keeping Patients Safe Through Employee Safety
Health care employees encounter a range of potential hazards in the hospital environment including exposure to infectious diseases and musculoskeletal injuries from lifting. As the largest health care employer in the region, UMass Memorial Medical Center values our employees and is committed to providing a safe environment for them. There is growing evidence that providing a safe work environment for employees corresponds with a safer patient environment.
Influenza is a concern in the health care environment; the vaccination rate of our employees is an important measure of a safe work environment. Achieving high rates of vaccination among our hospital employees has been shown to reduce employee absenteeism, protect patients and reduce overall health care costs. Since 2008, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) requires that all hospital employees be offered flu vaccination and either be vaccinated or decline the vaccine. Additionally, hospitals are required to report their rate of employee influenza vaccination to the MDPH each year.
How Are We Doing?
In 2014-15, our influenza vaccination rate was 85 percent. We continue to work toward our goal of 90 percent compliance, as recommended by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
We are committed to keeping patients safe by keeping our hands clean. Hand hygiene, or hand washing, is the most important way we can prevent infection. Good hand hygiene can be accomplished by using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, such as Purell®, or soap and water.
We require our staff to clean their hands both before and after taking care of a patient. We also remind our patients and visitors to clean their hands often to help prevent the spread of infection. Clean hands protect everyone – patients, visitors and staff.
How Are We Doing?
Our hand hygiene compliance over the past several years averages ## percent. We continue to work toward our goal of 100% compliance.