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Joint Commission issues report on expanded flu vaccination standard

June 1, 2012

A new report from the Joint Commission describes the agency's new requirement that all accredited organizations establish an annual flu vaccination program for staff and licensed independent practitioners who provide on-site services. The requirement took effect for hospitals and long-term care providers in 2006, but has been revised and expanded to other organizations. The revised standard takes full effect July 1 for hospitals and long-term care providers and will be phased in for other providers over the next year. Among other changes, it requires accredited organizations to measure and improve staff vaccination rates and set incremental goals for achieving 90% coverage by 2020. To protect the lives and welfare of patients and hospital employees, the AHA Board of Trustees last year approved a policy supporting patient safety policies that require hospital employees to receive a flu vaccine or wear a mask near patients during flu season.