TriHealth ‘fires’ workers without flu shots

From the Trenches World Report

Health system TriHealth had a message for 150 employees Wednesday: We really mean it this time.

The 150 workers who didn’t get the required flu shots by the Nov. 16 deadline received termination notices the day before Thanksgiving.

To keep their jobs, they need a flu shot by Dec. 3.

“The flu vaccine still is the best way to protect our employees and our patients against the flu,” spokesman Joe Kelley said.

TriHealth required all 10,800 employees to get flu shots. This is the third year it’s issued terminations for failure to get vaccinations.

TriHealth operates Good Samaritan and Bethesda North hospitals, the Queen City Physicians and Group Health Associates doctors groups and Hospice of Cincinnati.

It has offered the shots for free since Oct. 1 and will continue to offer them through Dec. 3.

Several of the region’s biggest health systems also require flu shots. Insurers and employers often recommend them to fight off the flu, but health systems are increasingly adamant in an effort to protect patients.

Some have gone even further.

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in previous years has restricted access to patient rooms for everyone except families during flu season.

One example was the 2009 outbreak of the H1N1 flu virus.