Norton Healthcare implements mandatory vaccination program for all employees

Among first 16 percent of United States health care systems to do so

Norton Healthcare implements mandatory vaccination program for all employees

<0> Norton HealthcareCourtney Bisig, 502-629-8476Public Relations CoordinatorCell: 502-593-463824/7 on-call media line: 502-629-2999 </0>

Norton Healthcare in Louisville, Ky., has recently mandated influenza vaccinations for all employees, becoming one of the first organizations to follow the 1981 recommendation to do so from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health care workers who have direct contact with patients are the primary source of disease outbreaks in health care facilities, according to an August 2010 publication on vaccinating health care workforces. Norton Healthcare will be among the first 16 percent of health care systems in the nation to adopt this mandatory policy. The requirement for its more than 12,000 employees proves Norton Healthcare’s commitment to a healthy community and remarkable patient care.

Norton Healthcare’s mission is to provide quality health care to all patients in a manner that responds to the needs of the community and honors the company’s faith heritage. As health care providers, it is important that employees exemplify healthy living in their families and promote it to their patients. The 84 percent of health care organizations across the country that have not adopted a mandatory vaccine policy have refrained due to several common arguments from employees, such as fear or personal beliefs. Norton Healthcare has recognized its employees’ effect on patient safety and therefore has become one of the small percentage of facilities that no longer provides caregivers with an option to refuse the influenza vaccine (unless they have a diagnosed medical condition that prohibits it).

The new policy will require everyone who works in a Norton Healthcare clinical facility to be vaccinated, including employees and independent physicians.

“It is important that our employees know the impact they have on patient care and community health,” said Paul Schultz, M.D., medical director, infection control and employee health, Norton Healthcare. “Our early adoption of this policy proves our leadership in the health care community.”

Norton Healthcare employees must receive the influenza vaccine by Dec. 10, 2012, to abide by the new mandatory policy. Both clinical and nonclinical staff members are required to participate.

For more than 125 years, Norton Healthcare’s faith heritage has guided its mission to provide quality health care to all those it serves. Today, Norton Healthcare is a leader in serving adult and pediatric patients throughout Greater Louisville, Southern Indiana, Kentucky and beyond. The hospital and health care system is the Louisville area’s third largest private employer, providing care at some 140 locations throughout Greater Louisville and Southern Indiana. The Louisville-based not-for-profit system includes five Louisville hospitals with more than 1,800 licensed beds; 10 outpatient centers; 12 Norton Immediate Care Centers; more than 12,000 employees; nearly 630 employed medical providers; and in excess of 2,000 total physicians on its medical staff. Norton Healthcare was the 2011 recipient of the prestigious National Quality Forum National Quality Healthcare Award, along with the 2011 Kentucky Hospital Association Quality Award. The organization has consistently been recognized as one of the best places to work in Louisville Metro, Kentucky and nationally. Norton Healthcare and Humana were among the first nationally, and the only ones in Kentucky,to study the Accountable Care Organization (ACO) model through the prestigious Brookings – Dartmouth ACO Pilot Project. More information about Norton Healthcare is available at .