Joint Commission: 9 ways to prevent flu transmission in hospitals

The Joint Commission is calling on healthcare organizations to help employees understand their responsibility to protect themselves and patients from the flu in a Quick Safety advisory notice released Nov. 28.

"Healthcare workers who usually skip a flu shot need to take a harder look at who they may be harming the most: their patients and co-workers," The Joint Commission said in the notice.

Prevention is the best way to protect healthcare employees, patients and visitors from flu, according to The Joint Commission. The organization also shared the following recommendations to prevent flu transmission in healthcare settings.

Healthcare organizations should:

  • Implement supportive, nonpunitive time-off policies to encourage sick employees to stay home from work
  • Make flu vaccines available to employees working all shifts to encourage compliance
  • Place tissues, masks and hand sanitizer at all facility entrances, along with "cover your cough" signs

Healthcare workers should:

  • Get an annual flu shot
  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces frequently 
  • Stay home from work if sick or showing flu symptoms
  • Cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and clean hands after handling tissues

To view the full advisory notice, click here.

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