"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Time Has Come

Starting next fall, WMHS will make flu shots mandatory for all employees.  A significant departure from previous years as our rate of employees being vaccinated has been historically low.  The more the issue was discussed and the more we heard from hospitals in Maryland that have made flu shots mandatory, it became obvious that the time had come for WMHS to make flu shots mandatory for our staff.  We will begin next year, but are using this fall as the notification period for our employees.  Hopefully, this will not be a major issue.  If they have a health issue that precludes such a vaccination then, a panel of clinicians will review the matter and provide a ruling.  All such submissions will be assigned a number so, no one is tempted to give favorable consideration based on who the individual may be or what there standing may be in the organization.  We owe it to our patients to provide the safest care while they are entrusted to us.  We also owe it to our families and each other.  I got my flu shot yesterday; join me in getting your flu vaccination today.


  1. I find this unacceptable. I personally will not take a shot of any kind that is not necessary. I have worked in a health care facility for over 15 years and have not received not will I receive unnecessary shots. If you make this mandatory you may lose employees who feel the same way including me.

  2. Thanks for your comment, and we share the concern. However, the safety of our patients needs to take precedence. In Maryland, the average vaccination rate among hospital workers is 81.4 percent. There are 19 hospitals with reported rates of 90 percent and above, and there are 18 hospitals in Maryland that currently have with mandatory vaccination policies. The American Hospital Association and the Maryland Hospital Association are urging all hospitals move to mandatory vaccination since the flu vaccine is a proven way to ensure that patients and healthcare workers alike are protected from contracting the flu. For those employees who have reasons not to take the flu shot, there will be a process to define and evaluate requests for medical and religious exemptions.