Healthcare Workers Toolkit

Chances are that Patient Zero is in your building right now.

You know, Patient Zero: the first person in your organization to contract the flu. The one who could unknowingly give it to your patients or members of your staff.

The one who could even die, because flu can and does kill people, especially children and older adults.

You work tirelessly to protect the health of your patients. Your strong recommendation for the flu vaccine is important, as well as healthcare workers leading by example by getting vaccinated against the flu.

As you know, seasonal influenza or the “flu” is more than just a bad cold. In fact, it’s the leading cause of death and illness from a vaccine-preventable disease in the United States. According to the CDC:

  • Children commonly need medical care because of influenza, especially before they turn 5 years old.
  • Severe influenza complications are most common in children younger than 2 years old.
  • Annually, an average of 20,000 children under 5 are hospitalized because of flu complications.
  • More than 200,000 Americans are hospitalized and thousands die every year from the influenza virus.
  • Flu causes 38 million lost school days and 111 million lost workdays a year, resulting in more than $7 billion in lost wages.
  • The median age of children who died from the flu virus during the 2015-16 flu season was 6 years old.

The flu can also be highly dangerous to people in our community who are not able to get the flu vaccine, namely the very young, the immunocompromised and the very old.

Studies have shown that a strong healthcare provider recommendation is the most effective way to convince people to get the flu vaccine. While the CDC recommends the flu vaccine as the best way to protect against the flu, only 1 out of 3 Nevadans actually get it.

It is of utmost importance for healthcare providers to get the flu vaccine due to your critical role in patient health. Not only are you highly likely to come in to contact with patients infected with the flu, but you could also spread the flu to your patients, as a person can be contagious for 24 hours before symptoms are noticed.

Below is a virtual toolkit of materials for use within your organization: 

  1. Newsletter articles and social media posts.
  2. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest for content you can easily share on your own social media outlets.
  3. Need resources in Spanish? Visit the CDC resource center
  4. Download the InFLUence Others Provider Checklist for 2017-18 Flu Season
  5. Download the InFLUence Others Complete Toolkit_2017 for 2017-18 Flu Season. Top resource links are available here:
  6. If you see adults over the age of 50 in your practice, consider implementing a FluFIT program.
    • Annual colorectal screening tests are underused; FluFIT programs increase colorectal cancer screening and flu vaccination rates.
    • Annual flu shot activities are an opportunity to reach many people who need colorectal cancer screening, but may not prioritize routine medical care.
    • FIT kits can be given to patients by clinic staff.
    • FluFIT programs can be a first step toward other innovative preventive health and screening interventions.
    • Download a toolkit of additional resources: FluFIT toolkit for Healthcare Professionals
    • Watch “The FluFIT Program: A Pathway to Higher CRC Screening Rates in Primary Care and Integrated Health Systems” (page down to September 2017 for recording and slides)
We will continue to provide updated information at www.influencenevada.org/toolkit. Please give us a call at 775-624-7117 or email info@immunizenevada.org if you have any additional questions. Thank you for your help keeping Nevada healthy!Thank you for all you do to keep Nevada healthy!

Toolkit resources are made possible by support from Saint Mary’s Health Network.