Hospital approach to influenza

  1. I asked these questions in the Pandemic/Flu forum but got no response. What is your acute care hospital's approach to flu testing?

    Do you:

    Swab all admitted patients?
    All ED patients too?
    Only those that are febrile?
    Above what temperature?
    Do you isolate swabbed patients until result?
    Do you have a rapid or point-of-care flu test?
    Does negative rapid/point-of-care result mean the discontinuation of isolation?
  2. Visit Altra profile page

    About Altra, BSN, RN

    Joined: Sep '03; Posts: 6,886; Likes: 12,483


  3. by   TX.RN.Shannon
    Currently, our hospital only swabs those symptomatic or exposed to someone that has tested positive. The only exception has been at a residential facility in our town---all residents on Tamiflu and all that come to ER are tested.

    We have a 15 minute "rapid flu" test for type A & B; there is also a send-out panel that takes 3-5 days for results. We have had a few patients that have had negative rapid results but positive on the send-outs.

    All patients that test positive anytime during hospitalization are placed in contact/droplet. There is no policy for retesting after treatment or for discontinuing isolation.
  4. by   AnonRNC
    I don't know the answer to most of your questions (I work NICU), except this one: if a patient is symptomatic, isolation continues regardless of test results.
  5. by   juliahyden
    The protection from influenza is very important to nurses also. So I suggest to all nurses try all preventions to avoid flu. Because it is the viral disease and you see many patients infected with influenza per day.
    Prevent yourself by using masks, hand gloves and more safety related things.
    I thing vaccination is very important for all nurses to prevent themselves from having a flu.
    Some seasonal influenza vaccines will get formulated to prevent from the flu for season 2013-14. These vaccines are called “quadrivalent” flu vaccines. Flu vaccines do not work to prevent from other viruses which create symptoms like Flu.
  6. by   NurseOnAMotorcycle
    We have a policy that all symptomatic pts gets swabbed and any pneumonia pts get swabbed. Swabbing everyone is too costly to the hospital and the pt to make it a housewide protocol. Also, anyone in the hospital who has pt contact (and I mean everyone!) has to have a flu shot and get a sticker for their badge or wear a mask in all pt care areas. Their choice. Sticker or mask.

    Julia, I suggest doing a quick search on mandatory flu shots for nurses. You'll find that nurses vs. flu has been discussed a LOT. . It's nice that you are thinking of our health too though.