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© 2004 SHRM SHRM Weekly Online Survey: December 7, 2004 Educating Staff About the Spread of Flu Sample comprised of 274 randomly selected HR professionals. Analyzing 274 out of 1917 emails sent; 1863 emails received (response rate = 15%) Survey fielded December 7 – 13, 2004; presentation generated on December 14, 2004. Margin of error is 6.0%.
© 2004 SHRM SHRM Weekly Online Survey: December 7, 2004 1. In light of this season's flu vaccine shortage, has your organization taken formal steps to educate staff about reducing the spread of flu in your workplace? Note: Respondents who answered “Not Sure” to this questions were excluded from the results.
© 2004 SHRM SHRM Weekly Online Survey: December 7, 2004 1. In light of this season's flu vaccine shortage, has your organization taken formal steps to educate staff about reducing the spread of flu in your workplace? ChoiceCountPercentage Answered No16862.6% Yes10037.3% Note: Respondents who answered “Not Sure” to this questions were excluded from the results.
© 2004 SHRM SHRM Weekly Online Survey: December 7, 2004 Please briefly describe the formal steps your organization has taken: Hand washing awareness steps heighten awareness Communication of issues Regular communication via our intranet / various posters placed through out the building Educating employees on preventive methods and encouraging any sick employees to stay home. We have universal precautions in place as an ongoing organizational operational procedure. Covering coughs reminders, hand washing reminders/posters We have a registered nurse on duty, we usually receive flu shots but as you know this year we could not get them. The nurse sent out an email detailing the ways to help from getting and spreading the flu We have communicated through plant postings and our newsletter the suggested precautions to minimize the chances of getting the flu. Correspondence distributed to employees electronically and posted on bulletin boards Posted information on bulletin board about ways individuals can reduce their chance of catching the flu.
© 2004 SHRM SHRM Weekly Online Survey: December 7, 2004 Please briefly describe the formal steps your organization has taken: (Continued) We have posted information on bulletin boards, included handouts with pay checks and printed articles in the monthly newsletter. We have also given employees information from Bristol hospital if they wanted additional information. It is an suggested item to cover in monthly safety and/or staff meetings, but nothing formal. As a health department we continually education the public as well as the staff. We have provided handouts about washing hands frequently and other hygiene tips. We also informed employees of places to receive the flu vaccine. We provided flu shots to all our employees. We were lucky enough to receive a supply of the shots. Articles in the plant and corporate newsletters Wash hands, use the disinfectant lotion, cover your mouth when sneezing/coughing, rest, drink juices
© 2004 SHRM SHRM Weekly Online Survey: December 7, 2004 Please briefly describe the formal steps your organization has taken: (Continued) Every employee received a 2 oz bottle of waterless hand sanitizer and a laminated card with the symptoms of the flu and prevention methods. Hand sanitizer dispensers were placed in all restrooms, in photocopy rooms and the mail room. Employees have been reminded by e-mail and posters what they can do to prevent the spread of germs. And employees are also reminded that if they are sick they should stay home. No heroes allowed in the office, sick employees are told to stay home and if they come in they are sent home by their manager. Wash hands frequently. Wear mask as appropriate, cough into your shoulder. We are a health care organization Intranet posting on how best to avoid the flu - prioritized list of who should find flu shots Online information about common sense ways to protect oneself from exposure to the flu virus; e.g., Washing hands, covering mouth/nose when coughing/sneezing, adequate diet and sleep, etc. Email message with some tips Web-base programs and in-house educational sessions. Disease prevention guidelines circulated; message includes when to stay home from work. Posted notices about the importance of washing hands.
© 2004 SHRM SHRM Weekly Online Survey: December 7, 2004 Please briefly describe the formal steps your organization has taken: (Continued) We have encouraged our managers to send sick employees home and encourage sick employees to stay home. We have posted signs about hand washing. We have supplied disinfectant wipes and Lysol throughout the office for employees to use at their discretion. We have posted information from our EAP concerning flu prevention. Wellness bulletins were distributed and remain on bulletin boards We did not have a problem with a shortage of the vaccine. Risk management arranged for vaccine to be distributed to each of our locations on multiple days a couple of months ago. Everyone who wanted the vaccine, got it. Safety Take 5's, talking about how colds, etc. are spread Sent out flyers from CDC, told managers to send sick people home. The Corporate Medical Staff has put together a communication regarding measures one can take to minimize risk of flu. This is distributed through the Healthy Balance Newsletter. Caution employees about not coming to work when they are sick. Providing hand antibacterial gel in break room. 1. There are signs in all the bathrooms encouraging people to wash their hands thoroughly. 2. Signs have posted throughout the building encouraging folks to "cover their cough" and to use their elbows rather than their hands. 3. The no water hand wash/disinfectants were passed out in some departments. 4. Agency wide emails were sent out encouraging staff to contact their doctor's to see if they qualified as a "high risk" and to get vaccinated 5. Agency-wide newsletter ran an article explaining ways to minimize risk of contracting the flu and seasonal colds. It also explained the difference and encouraged folks who were not feeling well to stay home.
© 2004 SHRM SHRM Weekly Online Survey: December 7, 2004 Please briefly describe the formal steps your organization has taken: (Continued) We had a physician assistant do a presentation to staff on how to prevent the flu. We bought sanitizing wipes and put them at the coffee stations, rest rooms, copiers. We told staff not to come to work sick. When they do come in sick, we thank them for their commitment and we send them home to get well. Putting up on bulletin board suggestions like hand washing and not reporting to work sick and infecting others Every year we take steps to reduce the spread of flu by having a local health agency come to our office to administer free flu shots to all employees who want one. It is normally a very high participation. This year, the agency has offered the nasal spray vaccine. I sent out an email with detailed information on the nasal spray. The participation dropped dramatically but we did have 3 employees take advantage of the benefit. We also have information on our company bulletin board about flu symptoms and preventions. We have pump bottles of germ-x at each cubicle quad. We have communicated the steps people should take to reduce their chances of getting the flu and to reduce the risk of spreading the flu Health newsletters and postings dealing with the flu vaccine shortage are routinely distributed. Also, postings are hung in restrooms and the lunchroom area reminding employees to PLEASE WASH THEIR HANDS. We're a small company, and we are able to keep and pass around the office a bottle of disinfectant spray to encourage employees to keep their work area relatively germ-free.
© 2004 SHRM SHRM Weekly Online Survey: December 7, 2004 Please briefly describe the formal steps your organization has taken: (Continued) We do pass along e-mails from the CDC and health department regarding safeguarding yourself against the flu E-mails sent to all employees on flu prevention. We also have been able to give flu shots to employees in the high risk category. Awareness through our safety meetings providing tools for cleansing hands often Workplace e-mails, flyers and posters have been distributed. Have started a prevention campaign, (wash hands, don't touch eyes, mouth, nose). Email sent to all staff: don't come to work if you are sick wash your hands; don't use equipment that has been used by someone who is sick; etc. Our infection control RN's have promoted better hand washing, & other preventative measures. We have distributed literature from the county's health services department. Distributed information about how to reduce spreading the flu: stay home when sick, cover mouth, wash hands frequently, etc. Also, we've had our maintenance staff sanitize door knobs push plates, stair railings, etc. Each day with antibacterial wipes. We've placed reminders about reducing the spread of the flu on doors and other visible locations periodically. Infection control RN making more rounds and speaking individually with staff on hand hygiene.
© 2004 SHRM SHRM Weekly Online Survey: December 7, 2004 Please briefly describe the formal steps your organization has taken: (Continued) We put information in our monthly newsletter on what to do to protect yourself from the flu. We also verbally discussed it in our monthly meeting by the president. We have also put up information on flu clinics that will give vaccines to those at high risk - it gives a checklist to determine eligibility. Along with that is a listing and phone numbers of local clinics offering shots to high risk people. Wariness flyers on do's and don't from a health perspective We are a jr. College. Information is available as a handout from the CDC in our library... students, faculty, and staff advised of this via intranet and hardcopy newsletter to students. Information on the hr intranet. Passed along some information from the webmd site via email transmission to all locations and users. Notices about more frequent hand washing, notices about available hand sanitizers. Providing information from our medical benefit provider about how to prevent spreading germs, exercise to keep fit and build immune system and other health habits that prevent disease. Providing antiseptic wipes for all to use. Extensive information to the employees from the local hospital on the best steps to take to reduce the potential of getting the flu, including diet, exercise, hygiene, stress, etc.
© 2004 SHRM SHRM Weekly Online Survey: December 7, 2004 Please briefly describe the formal steps your organization has taken: (Continued) Sent out information and asked each manager to educate their staff. Supplied antibacterial wipes to areas. While in years past we have offered flu shots to our employees; with the flu shortage this year we were unable to do so. We use payroll inserts describing flu symptoms, as well as flyers on bulletin boards throughout our facility describing symptoms and the treatment. We also encourage employees that believe they may have the flu to stay at home so they do not pass their illness on to their co-workers. We also post the website www.Flustar.Com which give a rather comprehensive breakdown of the flu level in our area. Posted signage to educate on the prevention of spreading the flu and other illnesses - i.e., Hand washing, and other hygiene behaviors. We have sent out written information from Cigna as well as posters. Provide CDC guidelines to employees via e-mail. Published an educational article in the company newsletter about simple steps to take to avoid the flu. In our monthly safety meeting we shared information about cold weather and protection from colds, etc., Which included information about ways to reduce the spread of the flu.
© 2004 SHRM SHRM Weekly Online Survey: December 7, 2004 Please briefly describe the formal steps your organization has taken: (Continued) Posters and talking to employees Discussions were held regarding the importance of hand washing. The company also provides sanitary telephone wipes and encourages our employees to wipe down equipment that may be shared daily. Our occupational health nurse has issued bulletins to our staff on the topic of prevention and inoculation issues Our safety team sent out an e-mail with tips on how not to spread the flu. We have placed hand sanitizer around the office in the common areas. For example by copy machines, fax machines and the telephones in our conference rooms. Email messages citing info from CDC and IVNA on ways to reduce chance of spreading or catching virus. Installed several hand sanitizer units in kitchens and mail room. Provided info on where and when flu shots were offered as info was obtain from employees and family members. Each year we provide flu vaccine to all of our employees at no cost. This year we scheduled the flu vaccine prior to knowing there would be a shortage. Therefore our employees if they desired received the vaccine.
© 2004 SHRM SHRM Weekly Online Survey: December 7, 2004 Please briefly describe the formal steps your organization has taken: (Continued) But we do have signs posted that require employees to wash their hands regularly. Provided medical information from health care organization that would have provided flu vaccine program via email and in hard copy. We posted a brochure in the bathrooms to remind people to wash hands and we sent a flier with the paychecks. We are a health care organization that already teaches and uses universal precautions. Those standards apply all the time, we do not need to do special education for this issue. Numerous postings around the buildings regarding the additional steps that can be taken, with frequent hand washing being the most effective.... Infection control procedures reviewed in employees meeting, employee notices and posted throughout the facility. Provide educational meetings from the local hospital education staff and articles in the company newsletter including the CDC flu guidelines. We had the proper procedures in minimizing germ contamination advised by our company health care provider. Everyone we informed plus the reminder posters in all possible places where employees will readily read them. No down time since then.
© 2004 SHRM SHRM Weekly Online Survey: December 7, 2004 Please briefly describe the formal steps your organization has taken: (Continued) We circulated information from the CDC and other sources via the internet, but I wouldn't say that we embarked on any extensive, formal education process such as bringing in outside speakers, etc. Even though we are the largest provider of flu vaccines in the world and we are providing close to 60 million doses for use in the USA we followed the CDC guidelines and limited flu shots available at our company sponsored employee and family clinics. We have provided written education as well as gave away vitamins and promoted wellness. Information provided on posters displayed in the workplace Posted information on employee bulletin boards and in employee newsletter Our infection control nurse has put flyers out to the staff. We offer flu shots to the staff free also. We are a health care organization. Infection control has increased the seasonal education re: hygiene, hand- washing, etc., Flyers are posted. We have offered to pay for flu shots where available. We have also provided anti-bacterial hand cleanser and facial tissue boxes to every employee to use while at work. 1. We have provided published safe guards to reduce the spread of flu via email to all employees. 2. We have posted these guidelines in restrooms, break rooms, and lunch rooms.
© 2004 SHRM SHRM Weekly Online Survey: December 7, 2004 Please briefly describe the formal steps your organization has taken: (Continued) The only thing we have done is encourage employees to stay healthy by using common sense techniques. We're a healthcare provider. We were able to vaccinate our direct caregivers but unable to vaccinate ancillary staff. Our MD in charge of infection control has published internal documents about how to manage the flu....Washing hands thoroughly, staying home when ill, what symptoms to watch for, etc. We originally arranged to offer the vaccine at one of our locations through insurance co. We have sent out literature on symptoms of cold vs. Flu, distributed sanitizers, reminded employees not to come to work if they are ill or bring ill children, etc. Wellness postings at each location. Intranet distribution of alternative flu prevention sources. We have 14 assisted living facilities so our associates are very up to date on the importance of keeping the workplace clean and as germ free as possible. In stand-up meetings our general managers have been careful to reinforce those messages. We have also worked closely with various agencies and have been able to obtain vaccines for many of our residents although it's been more difficult in some areas than others.
© 2004 SHRM SHRM Weekly Online Survey: December 7, 2004 Please briefly describe the formal steps your organization has taken: (Continued) Sent memo to employees informing them of precautions they should take to reduce their chance of getting the flu. I'm not sure whether this is considered formal, but we have put information in our last two issues of our employee newsletter regarding precautions and ways to reduce the spread of flu. We have posted notices on our employee bulletin boards. At our recent health fair we communicated that the flu shot would not be available but information was made available as to how to reduce the risk on contacting the flu. Provided e-mail articles and fliers in the break rooms about things you can do to reduce your chance of getting the flu. We updated fliers in bathroom regarding hand washing in relation to the spread of germs and virus. We also handed out small bottles of instant hand sanitizer. Agency newsletter. Program staff meetings. Posting personal hygiene information and how it relates to the spread of flu as well as providing antibacterial wipes to employees who work in close quarters or share desks and equipment (phones, 2-way radios, etc.) We were planning shots but when supplies ran low we had to cancel. Gave each employee a note card with preventative measurements along with travel size hand sanitizers
© 2004 SHRM SHRM Weekly Online Survey: December 7, 2004 Please briefly describe the formal steps your organization has taken: (Continued) Our wellness program issued an informational tool to all of our employees on steps that they can take both at work and home to help reduce the risk of getting the flu. It had informational articles, questions and answers and pictures all in color. What we have done is make the limited supply available to our employees involved in direct patient care first. Then what was left was made available to all on a first come first serve basis. We also suggested alternative sites where a qualified person could obtain the vaccine, e.g. Private physicians, clinics, V.A. Hospitals, etc. More communication about how to not spread viruses. Anti-bacterial lotion available. * Bulletin boards regarding prevention. * Stricter guidelines for sending employees home when they report illness - by occ health department. * Handing out hand sanitizer with card attached on what you should know about the flu * General health tips on company intranet But we take these steps each year (in addition to offering shots when vaccine is available): reminders on washing hands frequently (we provide antibacterial lotion in washrooms, remind people to stay home if they're sick, etc. Via multiple emails, in department head meetings, and bulletin boards
© 2004 SHRM SHRM Weekly Online Survey: December 7, 2004 Please briefly describe the formal steps your organization has taken: (Continued) Benefit health fair benefit newsletter benefit website update Article written in internal newsletter, connection to our central health & wellness website Department directors discussed with their staff what procedures to implement in order to avoid the spread of the flu particularly since we have vulnerable adults (elderly) residing in our facility. We also expressed to new employees during new employee orientation the importance of each employee having a responsibility for themselves and others.
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