Student Immunization Tracking at Nursing & Allied Health Schools
Unvaccinated healthcare personnel have a higher risk of transmitting vaccine-preventable diseases to patients and fellow staff members. That’s why the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that healthcare personnel, including allied health students, receive measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, varicella, influenza, and pertussis vaccines. Allied health schools have a responsibility to ensure that their students receive proper immunizations before they come in contact with patients during clinical rotations. But does your program have an efficient process for tracking your student health and immunization records?
Allied Health Student Immunization Tracking Requirements
While immunization requirements can vary from school and program, research has demonstrated the typical requirements for allied health students. According to a 2011 survey study of MD-granting and DO-granting schools and baccalaureate nursing programs, over 90% of all school types required measles, mumps, rubella, and hepatitis B vaccines for entering students; while varicella was also commonly required. The study also found that tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis vaccinations were required by 66%, 70%, and 75% of nursing, MD-granting, and DO-granting schools, respectively. With clinical sites requiring certain immunizations for healthcare workers, schools must ensure their students meet the minimum requirements.
The Case for an Efficient Student Immunization Tracking Process
Allied health schools have to ensure their students meet several immunization requirements, but recent research indicates U.S. schools could benefit from improving their immunization tracking methods. According to a 2013 study spearheaded by researcher Samantha B. Dolan of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half (48.7%) of accredited allied health schools track vaccination compliance by paper medical records. How is it possible that nearly half of U.S. schools have paper methods for tracking student immunizations in the era of electronic health records? The healthcare industry is evolving and adopting electronic and mobile technology, but these statistics suggest that schools have some catching up to do.
The Benefits of an Electronic Student Immunization Tracking System
There are many benefits of utilizing an electronic immunization tracking service, like the one PreCheck offers through our partnership with SentryMD (link: PreCheck & SentryMD press release). Switching to a paperless immunization tracking method can reduce your school’s administrative and storage costs. By freeing up your school from time consuming administrative tasks, faculty and staff can focus on their primary objective: education. Another great feature of having this type of system for managing your student records, is the ability to generate reports. Wouldn’t it be great if you could see, at a glance, the specific students in your school or program that are not compliant at any given time?
Dolan, Samantha B. "Immunization Policies Among Allied Health Schools: Evidence of Immunity, Allowance of Vaccination Exemptions, and Penalties for Non-Vaccination." 2013 CSTE Annual Conference. Cste, 2013.
Megan C. Lindley, Suchita A. Lorick, Jovonni R. Spinner, Andrea R. Krull, Gina T. Mootrey, Faruque Ahmed, Rosa Myers, Geraldine P. Bednash, Tyler C. Cymet, Rika Maeshiro, C. Fay Raines, Stephen C. Shannon, Henry M. Sondheimer, Raymond A. Strikas. “Student Vaccination Requirements of U.S. Health Professional Schools: A Survey.” Annals of Internal Medicine. 2011 Mar;154(6):391-400.