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What is Lawrence Memorial Hospital doing for its patients and staff to help prevent flu viruses this year? I heard they have a policy that gives employees a point of demerit if they call in sick. It sounds like they are encouraging their staff to come in sick. What are they doing to encourage people to stay healthy?

Lawrence Memorial Hospital is following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, and has relaxed the attendance policy for the flu, according to Deborah Thompson, vice president of human resources. “LMH is taking a number of steps to ensure that staff are able to stay healthy during the flu season,” she said. “When taking care of a suspected flu patient, LMH staff wear protective equipment such as masks and gloves to help ensure the health of staff members. Hand hygiene is extremely important, and much effort has gone into education, surveillance and hand sanitizer availability to be sure that the spread of illness is lessened. “We also offer our staff free flu shots. Ill staff members are asked to stay home until they have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications.”

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