How do you identify the patients at risk in your company when organising the flu vaccination?
It is the patient at risk’s own decision whether or not to be vaccinated via the employer or curative sector. In doing so he can also decide whether or not the employer is informed. Occupational physicians are not permitted to release any medical information about patients at risk.
It is not always simple to determine which employees are at risk. Some cases are clear: for example, your HR department can easily identify employees over the age of 50. Pregnant women are also obliged to inform their employer, so these employees are visible too.
It is harder in cases of chronic illness. It is unlikely that you, as an employer, are aware of every case: after all, employees are not obliged to tell you about certain ailments. For example, a diabetes patient does not necessarily need to report his or her illness. Other more sensitive pathologies may also be concealed for privacy reasons.
Up to the patients at risk
As part of the flu-vaccination programme you may only ask your employees at risk to come forward voluntarily, and thus be first in receiving a vaccination. However, these people can also choose to receive their flu vaccination from their general practitioner or specialist.
Furthermore, physicians in your external team are obliged to respect the confidentiality of medical information. Therefore, they are unable to satisfy requests to provide lists of patients with a chronic illness.
It is therefore up to patients at risk to decide for themselves whether or not to be vaccinated via the employer or the curative sector.
More information about the flu vaccination in our flu file.