Mar 24, 2009 – The annual meeting of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America took place Mar 20-22 in San Diego. This News Scan Special Edition wraps up interesting research from that meeting on the difficult problem of increasing influenza immunization in healthcare workers. Lip-sync video makes case to healthcare workers for flu shotsUniversity of Pennsylvania Medical Center struggled to raise the rate of healthcare workers accepting annual flu shots, even with a 2-year-old “opt-out” program accompanied by mandatory education programs for those who refused. This year, though, flu-shot acceptance has risen 40%. What turned the tide was a home-grown music video, running on the hospital’s intranet and patient TV, that features healthcare workers lip-syncing to “Baby Be Wise—Immunize,” recorded by Penn’s undergraduate a capella group, Penn Yo.[YouTube video] 50-hospital survey finds commonalities in diverse flu-shot programsA nationwide survey conducted by researchers at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, and the University HealthSystem Consortium in Oak Brook, Ill., found that programs to increase flu shots in hospitals vary regarding which employees they target and what strategies they use. However, the most successful programs had strong visible support from hospital leadership and provided after-hours and weekend access to vaccine. Unvaccinated healthcare workers highly vulnerable to fluFinally, a Canadian national survey suggested the potential risks to healthcare workers and their patients when workers are not vaccinated. A survey of healthcare workers in Toronto during the 2007-08 season, when the vaccine was poorly protective, demonstrated that 20% contracted flu. Moreover, 92% worked on the first day of their illness and 85% worked on every day that they were ill, increasing the risk of passing the disease to vulnerable patients. Strict medical or religious exemption policy raised ratesWashington University School of Medicine and healthcare organization BJC HealthCare increased vaccination rates among workers by making flu shots a condition of employment unless the employee could show proof of medical or religious necessity. Employees claiming religious exemption were required to write a letter to human resources; employees claiming medical exemption, such as prior hypersensitivity to flu vaccine or to the eggs in which it is made, were required to present a letter from a physician. Employees who were not vaccinated and could not prove exemption were terminated. Vaccination rates rose to 98.4%. ‘Push-pull’ campaign inspired by bioterror response plans increases vaccinationFlushing Hospital Medical Center outside New York City almost doubled healthcare workers’ willingness to take flu shots by deploying a persuasion strategy borrowed from mass-disaster planning. The technique, called “push-pull,” starts with intensive education on every hospital unit; personnel who either accepted the shot or signed a form declining it were given an ID-validating sticker for their badges. The following day, all employees were directed to a single hospital entrance, and those without stickers were steered to a vaccination team for a second go-round. Vaccination rose from 38% of staff to 60%.
Governor Wolf Proposes ‘Computer Science For All’ Standards for PA Schools November 15, 2017 Education, Innovation, Press Release, Schools That Teach Harrisburg, PA – Last week, on behalf of Governor Tom Wolf, the Pennsylvania Department of Education highlighted the importance of making computer science education available to all students in the commonwealth during a State Board of Education meeting and Governor Wolf and the department are urging them to endorse ‘Computer Science for All’ standards.“Over the next decade, seven in ten new jobs in Pennsylvania will require workers to use computers and new technologies in a constantly changing economy,” Governor Wolf said. “Businesses are growing in Pennsylvania and we know they need skilled workers. We must begin to prepare students now by establishing standards for computer science education in Pennsylvania schools so that our students have the skills necessary for these emerging high-demand jobs that will support middle class families and attract new businesses to commonwealth. I have asked the Department of Education to work closely with the State Board of Education to adopt Computer Science for All standards for Pennsylvania and I will work with the legislature to codify computer science standards into law.”Pennsylvania is already a leader in STEM education. The PA STEM coalition works with schools and students to expand STEM and Computer Science offerings. In Pennsylvania, over 1,200 educators are trained in Code.org K-12 resources (DCIU and AIU3 partnership) and 18,332 students took a Computer Science class in high school last year.Because of legislation signed by Governor Wolf, Pennsylvania already allows computer science classes to count for graduation, making it one of 24 states with this policy.“This emphasis on computer science would build on our efforts to make Pennsylvania a national leader in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education,” Governor Wolf said. “Pennsylvania now ranks fourth in the nation for the number of STEM graduates and is in the top 10 of states for STEM jobs, but there is more work to do. By giving students access to a quality computer science course we can make sure they have the skills needed for these good paying jobs.”By 2018, there will be approximately 300,000 Pennsylvania jobs that require STEM skills or content knowledge, and over the next ten years, 71 percent of new jobs will require computer science skills. SHARE Email Facebook Twitter