URBANA — More than 90 percent of the employees at three regional hospitals in Urbana and Danville were immunized for the flu this season.
With flu season nearing an end, Quality Quest for Health of Illinois released data this week showing 92 percent of employees at Carle Foundation Hospital got flu shots between October 2012 and February 2013.
As part of a flu reporting project developed by Quality Quest, a nonprofit regional health improvement collaborative, 34 Illinois hospitals their numbers of employee immunizations for the 2012-2013 flu season.
At Carle Hoopeston Regional Health Center, 88 percent of employees were immunized against the flu from October 2012 through February 2013, according to Quality Quest,
Presence Covenant Medical Center and Presence United Samaritans Medical Center didn't participate in the reporting project, but Covenant spokeswoman Crystal Senesac said 98 percent of employees at both hospitals were vaccinated during the 2012-2013 flu season.
Immunizing health care workers at the start of flu season is considered important, because those who haven't been immunized can potentially expose their patients to infection.
The national immunization rate during the 2011-2012 flu season for hospital staff was nearly 77 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The vaccination rate for participating hospitals in the Quality Quest project has been improving. In the 2010-2011 flu season, the average rate for participating hospitals was 81 percent. That rose to 90 percent last season and 93 percent the current flu season, the organization said.
High participation was expected this flu season because several hospitals imposed mandatory flu vaccination requirements for their staffs, unless there was a religious or health exception, and those who weren't vaccinated were required to wear masks, according to Quality Quest.