Using an automated tracking and reminder application will result in increased flu vaccination rates and significant cost savings. A recent study, published in the November issue of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America’s (SHEA) journal, Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, examined the effectiveness of an automated system developed by the University of California Irvine Health System which tracked almost 7,000 staff and employees associated with the facility. According to the study, the automation of the tasks normally conducted manually produced astounding results both in compliancy and reduced man-hours.
In order to motivate individuals and track flu vaccinations, the system sent automated email reminders to employees and supervisors at regular intervals explaining the facility’s influenza vaccination policy as well as required deadlines.  According to the study, the use of the automated system resulted in a 98 percent vaccine “success” rate—a rate well above current TJC and CDC recommended guidelines.  Susan Huang, MD, MPH, an author of the study, states “By successfully automating a system to track and provide feedback to healthcare personnel who have not received their seasonal flu vaccine, we are providing safer places for care and reducing the administrative burden of our mandatory vaccination program.”
In addition, the study found the automated system also reduced the workload on those who would normally be tracking down individuals to remind them to get their flu shot.  As indicated in the study, there was a 56 percent reduction in overtime hours spanning from 2010 to 2014. Most of the decrease can be credited to the shift in responsibility from the employee health nurse to the employee and their immediate supervisor. “Automation of necessary, but rote activities can allow medical facilities to implement mandatory flu vaccination and better protect patients without excessive diversion of skilled labor and resources from other important infection prevention activities,” said Huang.
Why tie up dedicated health personnel with the tedious task of reminding employees and staff to get their flu shot when the entire process can be automated? We agree! In 2012, we created the Reptrax Seasonal Flu Snapshot within the ReptraxTM vendor credentialing service. The Seasonal Flu Snapshot is an independent tracking and reporting tool designed specifically to increase participation in flu vaccinations for commercial visitors. Last flu season, we processed over 91,000 flu vaccination documents quickly and accurately, and we are well on our way to overtaking that number this flu season.
Now, we want to help you track and improve your facility’s flu vaccination rate for your clinical and administrative staff as well. Our new product, IntelliCentrics SEC3URETM, custom designed to your facility’s influenza policy, will send automated email reminders to your staff at regular intervals, track those who have received their vaccination and those who haven’t and document any allowed exemptions or declinations.  And, as your partners in creating a safer and more secure environment for your patients, you may also want to ask us how we can help manage your other immunization tracking needs such as measles, pertussis, chicken pox, hepatitis and tuberculosis testing.

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