The Role of Physician Immunization in Preventing Influenza Outbreaks:

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Tea E Collins


Influenza outbreaks in clinical settings represent a major threat to patient safety. An average season of influenza results in tens of thousands of deaths and up to 200,000 hospitalizations due to influenza-related causes every year. The risk of complications of influenza is highest among older persons, young children, patients with underlying medical conditions and pregnant women. Physicians and other healthcare professionals play an important role in both preventing and transmitting the infection. The most effective way to reduce transmission from healthcare workers to patients is immunization. Yet, immunization rates among healthcare professionals remain very low. To correct the gap, the World Medical Association launched a global campaign to promote immunization against influenza among physicians globally. The purpose of this paper is to introduce a framework for clinical preventive care, which considers the physician, the patient and the many factors that come into play, resulting in preventive behaviors and improved health outcomes. The framework is applied to the analysis of the World Medical Association campaign and emphasizes the importance of the relationship between doctor and patient and their interaction as a basis for person-centered care. 

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