Dr. Chapman, VP Medicine & Clinical Programs, has released a memo to all physicians:
Another influenza season is upon us. As in previous years, the Province’s Influenza Prevention Policy will be in place throughout Northern Health (NH) beginning December 1 until approximately March 31. NH is asking you to consider your duty to care, including protecting patients, residents, and their families from influenza and influenza-related complications during this time.
To help protect Northerners, including yourself, your family, and your co-workers, you can choose to get the flu vaccine or to wear a mask in patient-care areas. As part of this year’s policy, you will be required to self-report your choice at medicalstaffhealth.phsa.ca, regardless of your decision.
Staff influenza clinics start the week of October 28, 2019. Clinics are listed by Health Service Delivery Area (Northwest, Northern Interior, or Northeast), so that you can easily locate a clinic near you. These clinics are scheduled to run from 2017. If you are unable to attend a clinic, Peer Immunizers are available to provide immunizations until the end of the flu season. Immunizations are also offered through Interprofessional Team clinics, community pharmacies, and at most physician offices.
Hospitalized patients and residents of long-term care are at high risk for severe illness, influenza-related complications and even death caused by influenza. Influenza also affects the health of staff, making it difficult to provide care for our patients and residents. Fortunately, both masking and the flu vaccine are safe and effective methods for preventing the spread of illness, especially when used with other preventative measures, such as proper hand hygiene and staying home when sick.
For more information, please review the policy and find answers to frequently asked questions on OurNH. Should you have additional questions or comments, please send them to MedicalStaffFlu@northernhealth.ca.
Thank you for your ongoing commitment to providing safe care to our patients, residents, and clients.
Dr. Ronald Chapman, VP Medicine, Northern Health