GBGH takes top spot in regional flu shot campaign

A woman with her sleeve rolled up is getting a shot from a nurse in a grey sweater.

January 24, 2019 – Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) recently took the first place title in a regional flu shot campaign among hospitals within the North Simcoe Muskoka Local Health Integration Network (NSM LHIN). GBGH staff, credentialed staff, volunteers and contractors reached a combined influenza immunization rate of 73 per cent.

“Having an immunization rate as high as 73 per cent among our team who deliver and support patient care is an important part of reducing the spread of infection,” says Gail Hunt, president and CEO, GBGH. “Of course, I’m thrilled GBGH won the challenge, but it’s about more than that. It’s a step in the right direction to see such high rates in many of our region’s hospitals. If a little healthy competition helps boost those numbers and in turn, safety, then it’s a victory all around.”

The NSM LHIN hospitals competing included Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare (MAHC) – which came in a close second at 71.8 per cent – Collingwood General and Marine Hospital (CGMH), GBGH, Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital (OSMH), Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH), Stevenson Memorial Hospital (SMH) and Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care.

“We’re very proud of how our team stepped up to ensure they’re keeping our patients, themselves and their families safe during this year’s flu season,” says Judy Schell, manager, Occupational Health & Safety (OHS), GBGH. “The success of GBGH’s flu shot campaign is attributable to making the shot accessible to our team. We had a travelling cart going around the hospital for the entire month of November, bringing the flu shot to staff, credentialed staff and volunteers in their work area rather than asking they come to us during their busy day.”

In the past few weeks, GBGH has seen an increase in the number of flu cases presenting to its Emergency department (ED). To date this flu season, GBGH has confirmed 22 positives for influenza using rapid influenza testing. The hospital will continue screening for symptoms of influenza upon arriving at the ED or at registration as part of enhanced safety precautions throughout flu season. Patients with flu-like symptoms will be required to wear a mask and be isolated when possible.

The public is asked to not visit the hospital if they are experiencing flu-like symptoms such as cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, fever, chills and sweats, headache, and muscle and joint pain. All visitors should practice hand hygiene on arrival and exiting the hospital to minimize virus transmission throughout the year and particularly during flu season.