Influenza is a serious, highly contagious virus that affects hundreds of thousands of people each year and is responsible for millions of dollars in losses for U.S. businesses. Vaccinations are one of the best ways to help employees stay healthy and avoid passing the flu virus to their colleagues. Yet, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report, only about 37% of adults between the ages of 18 and 65 received flu shots during the 2017-18 influenza season.
These low rates have significant implications for productivity and the employer’s bottom line. An increasing number of employers are implementing vaccination programs. However, these programs are difficult to set up and often yield poor participation rates. Impact Health’s [email protected] Program can help improve outcomes by targeting those employees who don’t usually get vaccinated. By improving participation rates, you can protect the health of your employees, build their trust, and reduce loss of productivity due to absenteeism.
Power in numbers
Higher vaccination rates lead to fewer cases of the flu, which translates to lower related costs for employers. But to be effective in stopping the spread of the flu virus through your employee community, you don’t even need to have 100% participation.
There is a concept called community immunity, which means that if enough people in a population are vaccinated, transmission of that disease from person to person is greatly reduced. This means that vaccinating only a subset of your employees will provide protection and slow the spread of the flu. The exact immunity threshold or “tipping point” depends on various virus- and population-specific factors. The CDC has proposed a vaccination participation goal of 80% for adult populations.
Improve participation and outcomes with the [email protected] program
An annual flu vaccination clinic can provide easy, convenient access to flu vaccinations for your employees. However, there will always be employees who resist, cannot attend, or who don’t understand the risks. Others may not even know about the immunization opportunity. Trying to move 80% of your employees can be difficult and getting that segment to actually get the vaccine can be nearly impossible. Partnering with a third-party provider can increase your chances of reaching the desired outcomes.
Impact Health, in addition to its biometric screening programs, can vaccinate your employees. Its [email protected] Program aims to increase participation and improve outcomes towards achieving community immunity. The key to the program’s success is the way it reaches out to people and spreads the vaccination message using the individual employee’s preferred method of communication. Impact Health personalizes the [email protected] Program based on your employee population. Employer-provided information allows program managers to use intelligence and analytics to determine how best to communicate with each person and how to get them to take action and get immunized. All employee data is secured through HITRUST® Data Transfer and Storage, and all practices use HIPAA Compliant Protocols.
Additional best practices for a successful vaccination program
One of the most important factors for a successful program is employer and employee buy-in. The employer should encourage employees to get vaccinated by considering these tips:
- Measure participation rates for your flu program and consider methods to improve.
- Provide vouchers for employees if they can’t make an on-site clinic.
- Provide educational materials and one-on-one reviews.
- Host clinics in convenient, comfortable locations.
- Encourage managers to be lenient and flexible with scheduling time to go to the clinic.
Using your biometric screening company to host your vaccination clinic makes sense. The screening company already knows your employees and the data is stored securely in a single HITRUST® location. The biometric screening is a perfect opportunity to educate employees about the importance of getting vaccinated, not just to protect themselves but to help protect co-workers, family and friends through community immunity.
An employer wellness program is an important way to promote the health of your employees, as well as boost morale and improve loyalty. Implementing a vaccination program as part of your wellness program is an excellent way to slow the spread of influenza and other vaccine-preventable diseases. By reducing the number of unvaccinated employees through an organization-sponsored vaccination program, you can drastically slow or reduce the spread of disease. Employees are your organization’s most important asset. By proactively protecting their health, you can not only reduce absenteeism and productivity losses, but you also can demonstrate concern for your employees’ well-being.
Are you concerned about low levels of participation regarding vaccinations and its impact on your entire employee base? Contact Impact Health to get some answers and to see if the [email protected] Program makes sense for you.