COVID-19 put our nation’s public health corps to the test. The demands around vaccinating a nation of over 300 million people has put unprecedented strain on the system, but local health departments across the country have risen to the challenge.
The experience of the Utah County public health department is likely familiar to many who have been in the trenches during these mass vaccination events.
For this agency, transmitting records to the state’s immunization registry required manually inputting vaccination data from each patient’s paper record to an electronic system that uploads to the registry. While the county’s appointment system is electronic, it does not interface with the state.
Each evening, after a full day of administering hundreds of vaccines, workers gathered the paper records generated by their EHR and typed in the data a second time to satisfy the critical public health requirement of documentation in the registry.
The delays created by manual entry could lead to inaccurate inventory counts and procedural holdups, so workers arrived early each morning, in advance of the 7 am event open, to finish any entry not completed the night before.
“Our throughput and our vaccination capabilities are not the challenge, truly,” Aislynn Tolman-Hill, a spokesperson for the county’s health department explained. “It’s really the documentation.”
Addressing Re-work and Avoidable Delays
If Utah County had used ezEMRx, sharing data with the state’s registry would have been automatic. Relying on exhausted workers to stay late into the evening, re-keying info already entered once that day, would have been entirely unnecessary.
Jon Reid, informatics manager for Utah’s health department, notes that the manual input, not to mention the massive influx of data into the state’s registry, also takes a toll on accuracy. "Data quality… is probably our top headache,” he says.
Designed specifically for local health departments, our EMR reduces strain on workers and boosts data accuracy by linking the electronic systems necessary to conduct an efficient, effective mass vaccination event.
ezEMRx easily interfaces with state immunization registries, enabling real-time communication and automatic updates to state inventories. Health departments using our system can help ensure accurate and traceable vaccine distribution, without manual re-work.
And vaccine depletion risk can be easily managed with our built-in inventory system, which tracks stock and links that data with patient registration numbers to avoid exhausting inventory before all needed vaccinations have been administered.