Operation flu: Clinics gearing up

ahc_logo[Star Tribune, Sept. 24, 2009] Twin Cities medical clinics have a message for flu patients: Unless you’re really, really sick, don’t come in. They’re asking people with mild flu symptoms to stay home. Patients who want to talk with a doctor or nurse, they say, should phone in.

For Minnesota’s hospitals and clinics, the preparation started many months ago. They stocked up on gloves, masks and antivirals. They fitted health care workers with masks and told sick workers to stay home for seven days or at least 24 hours after their symptoms go away.

Allina, the Twin Cities’ biggest hospital and clinic chain, tweaked its personnel policies so workers who didn’t have enough sick days banked could stay home anyway and make it up later. “We didn’t want people to not be honest about their [health] situation,” said Pete Huber, Allina’s director of emergency management. Read the whole story at the Star Tribune web site.

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