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VPMA Voice

With flu season approaching, our commitment to patient safety compels us to make immunization of our faculty, staff, students, and volunteers a priority this fall. We have an obligation to do all we can to protect our patients, visitors, and employees from seasonal influenza.

As Iowa’s only academic medical center and a major partner in the state’s public health policy efforts, we also have a responsibility to “lead by example.” That’s why we are making participation in this year’s immunization program for seasonal influenza mandatory. Only medical and religious exemptions will be allowed.

Influenza immunization will help protect our health care workers and our patients from contracting and spreading the flu virus. By minimizing the spread of infection, it will also allow UI Hospitals and Clinics to maintain its workforce during peak flu season.

Let’s help each other during this upcoming flu season. If the flu does occur in your work area, please encourage those who are sick to stay home. Likewise, if you’re healthy, please continue to make it a priority to come to work. Together, by keeping our focus on patient well-being, we will get through this potentially difficult influenza season.

As always, please continue to e-mail me at vpma@uiowa.edu with your comments, questions, and suggestions.

Signed, Jean Robillard

UI Health Care prepares for flu season

UI Health Care epidemiologists, infection control specialists, university employee health services, and the emergency preparedness committee are preparing for the upcoming flu season.

Staff and faculty members will soon be receiving a UI Health Care broadcast e-mail detailing new policies, along with information about influenza and why it is important for all of us to protect ourselves, our patients, and our families. A site is now available on The Point to provide additional resources. Please note that this site will be updated often, so be sure to check back every few days for new information. New flyers, posters, and table tents will also be posted with additional information.

During this flu season, everyone working, learning, or volunteering with UI Health Care is asked to do three things:

1. Perform hand hygiene frequently, especially before and after patient care

2. Get a flu vaccination

3. Stay home if you are ill

These precautions will help prevent all types of influenza, including seasonal and novel H1N1 influenza.

More information about UI Health Care’s plans for the flu season will also be available at the UI Health Care Update Forum and at a Department of Nursing Grand Rounds program scheduled from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, September 15, in the Nursing Clinical Education Center (Elevator BW, Level 4).

UI Health Care gets “A” grade for conflict of interest policy

University of Iowa Health Care has received an “A” grade on the American Medical Student Association PharmFree Scorecard 2009, which rates conflict of interest policies at academic medical centers nationwide.

The scorecard, which was developed in collaboration with the Prescription Project, an industry watchdog group working to eliminate conflicts of interest in medicine, specifically examines each school’s policy in 11 areas. UI Health Care is one of only 10 institutions receiving the highest grade.

The UI Health Care policy, which went into effect July 1, establishes guidelines and disclosure requirements for interactions between the health care industry and all faculty, staff, and students affiliated with UI Health Care.

For more information on the PharmFree Scorecard, visit www.amsascorecard.org.

To learn about UI Health Care’s Conflict of Interest Policy, visit the web site.

Conflict of Interest deadline tomorrow

Tuesday, September 1, is the deadline for all faculty and staff affiliated with UI Health Care to complete and submit the External Relationships Disclosure form as part of the UI Health Care Conflict of Interest Policy, which became effective July 1. The form is available on the Conflict of Interest Web site, which can be accessed from The Point.

For complete information, including frequently asked questions, the text of the policy, and links to resources, please go to the Conflict of Interest Web site.

If you have questions after reviewing the information, please contact the Conflict of Interest Office at 384-5252 or e-mail coi@healthcare.uiowa.edu.

Some computers to power down automatically

As part of an ongoing effort to reduce expenses and conserve resources, UI Health Care is implementing a plan to power down computers at the end of each business day. Most machines will power off at 6:30 p.m. and will power back on at 6:30 a.m. While most desktop computers will participate in this program, certain machines have been excluded, such as computers used in inpatient care areas and machines previously identified as requiring special accommodations.

Beginning Tuesday, September 1, users may check the status of their computers and opt-in or out of this program by visiting this web site.

Effective September 15, targeted computers that have not been opted-out of the program will begin turning off daily at 6:30 p.m. If you do not want to participate in this program, Health Care Information Systems (HCIS) suggests that you check the status of your system and make desired adjustments to your participation sometime between September 1 and 15.

If you have questions regarding this program, you may contact the HCIS Help Desk, or review the frequently asked questions.

Looking Ahead

State of the College address Wednesday

UI Carver College of Medicine Dean Paul Rothman, MD, will give his annual State of the College address on Wednesday, September 2, beginning at 5:15 p.m. in the Prem Sahai Auditorium, Level 1, MERF. All faculty, staff, and students with UI Health Care are invited.

UI Health Care Update Forum Thursday

Everyone working, learning, or volunteering with UI Health Care is invited to a UI Health Care Update Forum Thursday, September 3, noon to 1 p.m. in the Atrium Conference Center (Elevator E/F, Level 7).

The forum will also be Web cast live and video will be made available on The Point after the forum.

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