Dear McLeod Employee,
As we remain dedicated in our efforts to manage the current and future Influenza risks, McLeod Health is committed to its leadership role in patient safety by preventing the spread of Flu. We appreciate your diligence and hard work in the care of our patients and want to work with all our staff in the management and identification of known or suspected flu cases.
At present, our influenza-like illness is widespread, which is atypical for this time of year. However, we do anticipate an even higher volume of patients presenting with flu-like symptoms.
Once again, seasonal flu vaccines will be offered to staff, those dates will be announced when the vaccine is available, with the regular $20 incentive provided. The H1N1 (Swine-like) Flu vaccines are additional vaccines and require two injections, a month apart. These will be given according to CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommendations for high risk populations, which include: persons between the ages of 18-24, pregnant females, and healthcare workers.
The H1N1 vaccine is expected to be ready by the end of September. We will notify our staff and make it available upon receipt from DHEC.
For simple but effective means of prevention, you should:
-avoid out of the workplace unprotected contact with known or suspected cases of influenza.
-get with your department director for specific precautions as it relates to your work area.
-use cough etiquette
-use frequent and appropriate hand washing techniques
-stay home when you are sick to prevent spread. Report to your physician for guidance on treatment and to your director to follow appropriate procedures for sick time.
McLeod Health continues to follow CDC Guidelines and S.C. DHEC recommendations for the care of patients with Influenza. The McLeod Department of Epidemiology will routinely monitor the prevalence of local (inpatient and staff) influenza-like illness and provide you with Weekly Updates through a McLeod Health Alert communication. These updates will include:
-current prevalence within the organization
-recommendations for testing and treatment
-Education for staff and patients
Our team is aware that the current situation with influenza is evolving quickly. Plans for managing patient volumes, treatment processes, procedures and staffing are a constant priority. Thank you for your cooperation and support in this healthcare effort. For more information, please contact: McLeod Department of Epidemiology, 777-6421.
Dr. Rick Ervin, McLeod Infectious Disease Specialist
Rob Colones, President of McLeod Health