Houston Methodist was the first academic medical center in the country to mandate that its 26,000 personnel be vaccinated against the coronavirus. In developing its vaccination policy, the 8-hospital system followed seven steps that any health system — or employer — can replicate. In this article, Houston Methodist President and CEO Marc L. Boom, MD, and his executive team outline those steps, which include establishing an ethical framework and hierarchy, conducting a risk-benefit analysis, ensuring that exemptions are consistent with public health recommendations and state law, and providing a robust educational campaign.
“Some may wonder whether our mandatory vaccination policy asks too much of our employees and whether a similar approach would ask too much of their own,” they write. “Our view is the top priority should be to keep employees, customers, and our community safe. Organizations must strive to eliminate any avoidable harm, which clearly includes avoiding the transmission of infectious and deadly diseases.”