AMA Supports Mandatory Flu Shots for Long-Term Care Workers

The American Medical Association’s House of Delegates passed a resolution today in support of mandatory annual influenza vaccinations for all long-term healthcare workers who have direct patient contact unless a medical contraindication or religious objection exists. The resolution recommends that medical directors and other practitioners encourage professional and family caregivers to obtain vaccinations, and that vaccinations be made available and offered at no cost to staff working in long-term care settings. The resolution was introduced by the American Medical Directors Association, which represents physicians practicing in long-term care settings.

Other policies adopted by the House of Delegates include:

  • Next-generation sequencing technologies: Supports regulations to protect patient rights and confidentiality, and enable physicians to access and use such diagnostic tools as clinically appropriate.
  • Hepatitis C: Encourages implementation of birth year-based screening practices in alignment with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The policy also encourages coordinated hepatitis C infection education and prevention efforts. Among the 3.2 million Americans infected with hepatitis C, about 2 million are estimated to have been born between 1945 and 1965. Studies show birth year is a cost-effective way to identify individuals for testing.

Violence in Non-Hospital Settings
In other business, the AMA’s Board of Trustees presented a report on violence in the non-hospital work environment. In a survey, 12 percent of responding physicians reported they were a victim of at least one incident of workplace violence in the past 18 months; 5 percent were victims more than once. The most commonly reported form of abuse was categorized as verbal (70 percent). “In order to provide the best possible care to patients, and maintain a rewarding work environment for physicians and other health professionals, all forms of workplace violence must be addressed,” said AMA board member Patrice A. Harris, M.D. “This report is an important step toward enhancing the healthcare workplace setting for both physicians and patients.”