Immunization Tracking and Why It Is Important

Immunization Tracking and Why It Is Important
Product Manager

Checking for criminal records on potential employees and students entering medical facilities is a definite must have for patient safety. What about their immunization records? Immunization tracking plays a very key role in ensuring that employees and clinical students are protected from contracting illnesses from the patients they care for and observe. Many healthcare workers are at risk for exposure to and possible transmission of vaccine-preventable diseases. We do not want the healthcare workers or students to become ill from exposure to the very patients they are in charge of caring for; nor do we want them to pass along a disease or illness to the patient

Let's take influenza or "flu" as an example. A study by NFID (National Foundation for Infectious Diseases) in 2007 states that approximately 200,000 people are hospitalized and 36,000 people succumb to the illness annually. For a variety of reasons, most healthcare personnel do not receive annual flu shots. According to the 2000 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), the nation's healthcare personnel vaccination rate was 38%. This is a low number considering the exposure risk healthcare personnel face. Mandating employee immunization rather than having voluntary immunization programs increased Virginia Mason Medical Center from 38% in 2002 to 98% in 2005 which significantly decreased the amount of personnel and patients transmitting the flu.

Being able to easily manage the records of those that have not been vaccinated or are due for updated vaccines means utilizing an immunization tracker. Immunization tracking reduces paperwork, manages vaccine inventories, and helps interpret the complex immunization schedule. This also allows the introduction of new vaccines or changes in the vaccination schedule to be updated accordingly.

PreCheck Drug Testing Resources Kit

Source: "Immunizing Healthcare Personnel Against Influenza: A Report on Best Practices" by National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.