Health care personnel are an important source of transmission of the influenza virus in the health care setting, and annual influenza vaccination is an effective method of preventing influenza virus infection and its potentially serious complications.
As a condition of licensure, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) regulations require all licensed healthcare facilities to:
- Offer free-of-charge, annual influenza vaccine to all personnel (full- and part-time employees, contracted employees, volunteers, house staff, and students)
- Document receipt of influenza vaccine administered within and outside the facility or document the declination of immunization
- Report information to DPH, documenting compliance with the vaccination requirement, in accordance with reporting and data collection guidelines of the Commissioner
DPH has established an overall minimum performance goal of 90% influenza vaccination coverage rate for all health care personnel at licensed health care facilities. This performance goal aligns with the National Healthy People 2020 target of 90% influenza coverage of HCP, and is intended to advance patient and health care personnel health and safety by ensuring optimal influenza vaccination coverage.
Reporting process for adult day health programs, clinics, nursing homes, and rest homes
Adult day health (ADH) programs, nursing homes, and rest homes submit influenza vaccination reports for health care personnel (HCP) through the Virtual Gateway’s Health Care Facility Reporting System (HCFRS). For first-time users, a how-to guide is available to set up initial access to the HCFRS.
Clinics submit influenza vaccination reports through a web-based submission form via SurveyMonkey.
The deadline for submission of influenza vaccination reports is as follows:
- ADH programs: December 31, 2020
- Nursing homes and rest homes: February 28, 2021
- Clinics: August 15, 2021
For guidance about the submission process, references and resources, and a tracking tool to assist facilities in documenting, monitoring and tracking HCP influenza data throughout the flu season, please see:
- Long-term Care Facilities: DPH Seasonal Influenza Vaccination of Healthcare Personnel (HCP) Guidance
- Adult Day Health: DPH 2020-2021 Seasonal Influenza Vaccination of Healthcare Personnel (HCP) Guidance
- Clinics: DPH 2020-2021 Seasonal Influenza Vaccination of Healthcare Personnel (HCP) Guidance
- Health Care Personnel Influenza Vaccination References and Resources
- Facility Health Care Personnel Flu Tracking Tool
Reporting process for hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, and dialysis centers
All licensed hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs), and dialysis centers are required to report health care worker influenza vaccination data to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN).
The deadline for submission of influenza vaccination reports by hospitals, and ASCs, is August 15, 2021. The deadline for dialysis centers is December 31, 2020.
For guidance about the submission process; references and resources; and a tracking tool to assist facilities in documenting, monitoring and tracking HCP influenza data throughout the flu season, please see:
- Dialysis Centers: DPH 2020-2021 Seasonal Influenza Vaccination of Healthcare Personnel (HCP) Guidance
- Acute Care Hospitals: DPH 2020-2021 Seasonal Influenza Vaccination of Healthcare Personnel (HCP) Guidance
- Non-Acute Care Hospitals: DPH 2020-2021 Seasonal Influenza Vaccination of Healthcare Personnel (HCP) Guidance
- Ambulatory Surgical Centers: DPH 2020-2021 Seasonal Influenza Vaccination of Healthcare Personnel (HCP) Guidance
While all personnel, including non-employee personnel, must be offered influenza vaccine, the reportable measure of effectiveness is based on employees, as defined by the payroll.
For the purposes of the vaccination program, employee is defined as:
- Number of healthcare facility employees who worked in the healthcare facility for at least one day between October 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021.
- This includes, but is not limited to: physicians; nurses; interns/residents; fellows; physician assistants; physical, occupational, respiratory and speech therapists; laboratory and operating room technicians; central supply staff; pharmacists; maintenance/environmental services staff; dietary staff; attendants/orderlies, secretarial and administrative staff; contract staff, whether or not such individuals provide direct patient care.
- Employees, such as contractors performing administrative functions, who do not work at or come to the licensed healthcare facility are not required to be vaccinated.
- Important reminder: Health care facility-specific information will be publicly reported. Annual vaccination for all health care personnel is a matter of patient safety and is necessary to significantly reduce health care associated influenza infections.