Local business owners should be made aware that occupational medicine providers may be able to prevent more than the flu this season. With more than 11 million workdays—and $7 billion—lost annually to the flu according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, healthy employees mean a healthy bottom line in very real terms. Small businesses, especially those engaged in manufacturing where having a worker down with the flu could significantly diminish production for days (or weeks), could be especially willing partners in flu shot clinics and in-house programs built around preventive education. A recent NPR-Truven Health Analytics Health Poll showed that respondents had a host of (mostly misinformed) reasons for not getting a flu shot, including the belief that they simply didn’t need one (48 percent of the group), concerns about side effects or risks (16 percent), and worries that the vaccine could infect them with the flu (14 percent). Conversely, the recommendation of a healthcare providers was named as the most important factor in deciding to get a flu shot by 47 percent of respondents in a study conducted by the University of Michigan School of Public Health.
The ‘Educate and Vaccinate’ Angle Could Boost Occ Med Business in Flu Season