Cold & Flu Season: How to Prepare Your Healthcare Facility
Cold and Flu season is approaching and it is coming in HOT! While the 2021 flu season was milder than the previous year, partly thanks to the lingering COVID restrictions that kept us masked and sheltering in place. This year, the CDC recommends that, “adults 65 and older receive a high-dose influenza vaccine for better protection.” With masks off and COVID restrictions now lifted, it’s time to prepare your healthcare facility for an influx of patients, sick staff members, and of course, the stubborn viruses that are sure to visit us this fall. This blog will help you prepare for cold and flu season.
CDC Recommendations for 2022 Cold and Flu Season
The CDC published tips for preventing the spread of flu. Many of these will be familiar to you, but this year, in addition to reminding your patients of some of these best practices, you should also remind your staff:
- Encourage everyone, including your employees, to take the seasonal flu shot.
- Host a flu vaccine clinic at local companies. This will promote your facility in addition to protecting your community.
- Review your sick leave policies to ensure that your staff feels comfortable staying home when they need to. Set up a plan for per diem staff to step in to fill gaps as necessary. AG Globe Services can help in this area.
- Sick leave policies should support employees who come down with flu symptoms while on the job. Do not encourage them to “tough it out” to avoid spreading contagion. Create a culture where employees are comfortable confessing that they don’t feel well and back it up with plenty of paid sick time. This will help build an internal culture of wellness that will help your employees feel better about their health—and their jobs.
- Consider using telemedicine to your advantage in these cases. During COVID, quarantined clinicians who were asymptomatic conducted virtual patient visits. This is a great triage tool that keeps patients out of the ER and healthcare waiting rooms. But it also can make use of an exposed or slightly ill healthcare worker who can continue to work but do it safely at home where they’re not spreading germs around your facility.
- Continue to remind patients and staff of sanitary practices to stop the viral spread. Hand washing is the bare minimum, but also no-touch trash cans, hand sanitizer stations, and mask-wearing during peak flu season, are still important.
- Provide additional resources for employees and patients who are at risk for serious flu complications. Pregnant women and people with chronic diseases are particularly vulnerable at this time of the year.
Staying prepared for cold and flu season requires an extra effort. What can you do right now to prepare for staff illnesses that will leave you shorthanded this winter?
Mitigating Healthcare Staffing Shortages During Flu Season
Partnering with AG Globe Services now will help you prepare for flu season later on. We are a full-service healthcare outsourcing provider of top clinical and administrative talent. Healthcare organizations partner with our recruiting teams to help maintain appropriate staffing in their facilities during times of peak volume and labor shortages.
Are you still searching for a credible staffing partner? Contact our team today to get ready for the 2022 viral load. We can help.