September 17, 2012_NH"Dear Administrator" Letters

September 17, 2012

ADSA: NH #2012-011
Influenza and pneumococcal Immunization reminders

Dear Nursing Facility/Home Administrator:

Nursing homes must meet federal and state requirements related to influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations. Residential Care Services is partnering with the Department of Health to remind providers about the benefits of:

  • Flu and pneumococcal vaccines – these vaccines can potentially reduce the rate of hospitalizations and deaths in many people, especially in those 65 and older. 
  • Using the Washington State Immunization Information System, formerly Child Profile Immunization Registry, to keep track of your residents' and staff's vaccinations. For more information or to register, contact the system's Help Desk at 1-800-325-5599 or 206-205-4141 https://fortress.wa.gov/doh/cpir/iweb/main.jsp

Get ready for flu! Help keep your residents and staff healthier this flu season by:

  • Encouraging all residents and employees to get the flu vaccine and making sure they are up-to-date on their pneumococcal vaccine.
  • Taking measures to minimize transmission in your facility such as washing hands or using hand sanitizers frequently. More information about infection control is available at: www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/infectioncontrol/  
  • Reporting flu outbreaks in your facility to your local health department (LHD). They can help with advice about testing, treatment, prophylaxis and infection control. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines an outbreak as a sudden increase of acute febrile respiratory illness cases or when any resident tests positive for influenza.

There are many websites that provide information on flu and pneumococcal disease. We encourage you to check these websites often for new information:

We have also updated our internet website under Professionals & Providers to include the above links and other resources. See https://www.dshs.wa.gov/altsa/long-term-care-professionals-providers

Sincerely,

Joyce Pashley Stockwell, Director
Residential Care Services                                              
Department of Social and Health Services                   

Maxine Hayes, MD, MPH
State Health Officer
Washington State Department of Health