PEORIA — Eight central Illinois hospitals voluntarily shared the percentage of employees who were immunized for the seasonal flu between October 2012 and February 2013 as part of a flu reporting project developed by Quality Quest for Health of Illinois. Originally started in 2009, the project included 34 Illinois hospitals for the 2012-2013 flu season. The national immunization rate average among healthcare workers is estimated at 64 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The final numbers for the eight regional hospitals include:

Proctor Hospital, Peoria; 99 percentAdvocate Eureka Hospital, Eureka; 98 percentAdvocate BroMenn Medical Center, Normal; 97 percentOSF St. Joseph Medical Center, Bloomington; 97 percentOSF Saint Francis Medical Center, Peoria; 95 percentMethodist Medical Center of Illinois, Peoria; 94 percentOSF Saint James – John W. Albrecht Medical Center, Pontiac; 93 percentPekin Hospital, Pekin; 79 percent“We are proud of all these hospitals for being well above the national average for healthcare worker immunization rates,” said Bonnie Paris, program development manager at Quality Quest. “Flu immunization among healthcare workers is important for the continued safety and care of patients. Publicly reporting hospital employee immunization rates helps providers see how they compare to others and motivates them to bring their numbers up.”

The Joint Commission challenges hospitals to meet the gold standard vaccination rate of 95 percent for health care workers. During the 2010-2011 influenza season, the average rate for the participating hospitals in the Quest project was 81 percent. During the 2011-2012 flu season, the percentage jumped to 90 percent for project participants, and by this year the number increased to 93 percent. The rates of all 34 participating hospitals may be viewed at www.qualityquest.org.

High percentages were expected this year because several hospitals implemented universal employee vaccination policies. Exceptions to these policies include individuals who have a medical or religious reason not to participate. Those who do not get vaccinated must wear a mask.

“Of special interest is a new requirement the Joint Commission enacted last July that all accredited healthcare organizations establish an annual influenza vaccination program for licensed independent practitioners and staff,” noted Paris.

The following hospitals participated in the flu reporting project for 2012-2013: Advocate BroMenn Regional Medical Center, Normal; Advocate Eureka Hospital; Alexian Brothers Medical Center, Elk Grove Village; Carle Foundation Hospital, Urbana; CGH Medical Center, Sterling; Decatur Memorial Hospital; FHN Memorial Hospital, Freeport; Genesis Medical Center – Illini Campus, Silvis; Hoopeston Regional Health Center; Illini Community Hospital, Pittsfield; Illinois Valley Community Hospital, Peru; Massac Memorial Hospital, McDonough District Hospital, Macomb; Metropolis; Memorial Hospital, Carthage; Methodist Medical Center of Illinois, Peoria; OSF Holy Family Medical Center, Monmouth; OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, Rockford; OSF Saint Elizabeth Medical Center, Ottawa; OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, Peoria; OSF Saint James - John W. Albrecht Medical Center, Pontiac; OSF St. Joseph Medical Center, Bloomington; OSF St. Mary Medical Center, Galesburg; Pana Community Hospital; Passavant Hospital, Jacksonville; Pekin Hospital; Pinckneyville Community Hospital; Proctor Hospital, Peoria; Richland Memorial Hospital, Olney; Riverside Medical Center, Kankakee; Sherman Hospital, Elgin; St. Alexius Medical Center, Hoffman Estates; St. John’s Hospital, Springfield; St. Mary's Hospital, Decatur; Washington County Hospital, Nashville.