Every year, 5 to 20 percent of all Americans get the flu. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) estimates that each year the flu results in 31.4 million outpatient visits, about 200,000 hospitalizations, and more than $87 billion in total economic burden. The bad news for employers is that flu season is just around the corner, beginning in the fall and peaking between December and February. The good news is that while flu seasons tend to be unpredictable, experts are confident this flu season will not be nearly as bad as the 2017-2018 season.
As fall approaches, many employers are beginning to prepare their flu prevention plans to lessen the economic effects of the illness. Here are four ways to get started.
Invest in an employee vaccination program
The flu vaccination can significantly reduce the chances of getting sick. There are multiple ways to provide vaccinations for employees, including onsite events and voucher-based programs at retail locations. In collaboration with Walmart and Sam’s Club, BioIQ provides a comprehensive flu immunization solution designed to drive greater employee participation, which can result in fewer lost work days and higher productivity during flu season. BioIQ’s solution provides easy options for employees to schedule and receive their flu immunization at the location and time most convenient to them – providing employers with a fully coordinated immunization program managed through the BioIQ Platform.
Encourage Hand Washing
Hand washing is a free and easy way to stop the spread of germs and is the cornerstone of staying healthy during flu season. Consider posting signs in all restrooms and break rooms with information about handwashing and proper handwashing form. Setting up hand sanitizing stations at office entry and exit points is another preventive step.
Post information about flu symptoms
Educating employees about flu symptoms can go a long way in encouraging them to take care of themselves and seek treatment as soon as possible. The CDC provides downloadable guides that cover everything from flu statistics to good health habits. Encourage employees to stay home from work as soon as symptoms begin to prevent the spread of the virus. On that note…
Let employees take a sick day (or two)
Many employees will put off missing work until they are already well into their illness to avoid disrupting business or using too many paid time off days. Consider providing paid sick days for employees who are diagnosed with the flu or allow them to work from home. Once again, ensuring employees stay at home while the illness runs its course is a great way to prevent infecting others.
BioIQ is here to help employers implement a comprehensive flu immunization program, including the tools and technology to facilitate communication and engagement with employees and reports to track the program’s progress. To learn how BioIQ can help your organization plan for flu season, call (888) 818-1594 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.