Responding to a measles outbreak can be costly and time consuming. In the Manual for the Surveillance of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] noted that a 2008 outbreak “affecting several hospitals cost about $800,000 to contain, more than $100,000 per case.”
Hospitals can be required to contact anyone who has potentially been exposed to the virus. Measles is so contagious that exposure is defined as having shared air at the same time or, in a closed area, up to two hours after a person with measles has occupied the area. Do you know who has been in your facility and for how long?
Further, the CDC states “all persons who work in such facilities in any capacity should have presumptive evidence of immunity to measles to prevent any potential outbreak.” The evidence needs be documented and readily available. Can you access proof of immunizations for everyone who works in your facility, including vendor representatives, visitors and contract employees?
The recent resurgence of measles is a strong reminder that healthcare credentialing has been put in place for an important reason—to keep patients and employees safe. In the case of measles or other infectious diseases, proper credentialing can help keep an entire community safe!
Stay prepared with the ReptraxTM vendor credentialing system. As people check in and out of your facility, Reptrax tracks the date, time and the duration of the visits. Your vigilance in requiring all non-employees to check in and out could pay off in financial savings if you are ever required to report who was in your facility at any given time. Further, Reptrax makes it easy to know who has their vaccinations and who still needs them. Now is a good time to review your credential requirements to ensure you are following CDC recommendations regarding infectious diseases.