I think this was a pretty smooth move on the part of St. Vincent Health System. Instead of mandating their workers to get the seasonal flu vaccine or letting them have full discretion of whether or not to get it they gave the workers a choice. Either get the vaccine or wear a mask while you’re at work. Only 6 employees opted for the mask while all others got the stick.
This was a really innovative way to incentivize the vaccination decision as well as meeting an ethical standard of minimizing exposure of both patients and staff that are in the hospital. I think that the healthcare industry does have an obligation to protect their patients from all potential exposures and the flu is no different.
Another obligation of the hospital is to have enough healthy staff to serve their patients, this is a step in that direction for the coming flu season and considering the population of hospitals (old, sick, and very young) it seems a good idea to put these measures into practice.
This idea is a great way to maintain the autonomy of the healthcare workers while putting a leading foot forward for the patients and other staff that are at the hospital.
Hattip to Effect Measure