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Blue ribbon reward

EBCH Recognized for Efforts to Protect Patients from Influenza

93 percent of facility’s employees received influenza vaccination in 2016-17.

FluSafe - Vaccinating staff, protecting patients

Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital was among 139 hospitals and nursing homes from around the state recognized today by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) for achieving high influenza vaccination rates among facility employees during the 2016-17 flu season.

93 percent of EBCH staff, received influenza vaccinations during the past season of the Minnesota FluSafe program.  In October, EBCH uses their monthly employee recognition day know as Positive Thursday to promote the vaccination program by hosting “Shot and Beer Day”.  Members of the Patient Relations Committee go around the facility offering the influenza vaccination along with a refreshing root beer.  The facility received a blue ribbon and certificate of achievement from Minnesota Commissioner of Health Edward Ehlinger for its efforts.

The FluSafe program aims to get 100 percent of all health care personnel at hospitals and nursing homes in Minnesota, except those with medical exemptions, vaccinated against influenza each season. According to state health officials, unvaccinated health care workers can potentially pass highly contagious influenza to their patients, many of whom are at high risk for complications from influenza.

Of the 149 facilities that participated in FluSafe this year, 67 reached vaccination rates of 90 percent or greater, 41 reached rates of between 80 and 89 percent, and 31 reached rates of between 70 and 79 percent.  Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital was the only facility from St. Louis County to receive blue ribbon statis.

“After seven years of FluSafe, we continue to be grateful for – and impressed by – the important steps participating facilities are taking to prevent flu through health care worker vaccination,” said Kristen Ehresmann, director of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Prevention and Control at MDH.

Health care facilities participating in the FluSafe program receive guidance and access to tools and promotional materials from MDH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help them increase their influenza vaccination rates. The facilities record and document their vaccination rates through the state’s immunization information system, the Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC).

More information on the FluSafe program, including a list of the 2016-17 facilities earning blue, red, and white ribbons, can be found on mdhflu.com.