Hospital Network Improves its Health with Web-Based Solution for Tracking Employee Vaccinations
Chicago’s Sinai Health System is required by law to administer and report annual influenza vaccinations as well as records for all onboarding screenings and certification physicals for its employees.
Working with Immuware, Sinai Health System overhauled its paper and spreadsheet-based tracking system and the way it communicates and engages with all employees, contractors and volunteers throughout the organization every year for its annual compliance campaigns. Together they implemented a mobile, web-based system that has revolutionized the way it captures, tracks, records and analyzes employee vaccination and other critical health compliance data. From day one with the new system, Sinai Health System eliminated all paper, report development and tabulation tasks and significantly increased the speed, accuracy and accountability for employee compliance. Since the rollout, clinicians have adopted and embraced the new transformational, easy-to-use mobile vaccination tracking tool.
Business Challenge and Objective
With a long history and solid reputation as a provider of advanced primary and specialty care, Sinai Health System recognized that its paper-based vaccination and surveillance tracking process was no longer adequate to handle a workforce comprised of more than 4,200 employees, contractors, volunteers and medical students, spread across more than eighteen locations.
The paper records had an inherent propensity to be damaged, difficult to read or even lost. In addition, the paper and spreadsheet-based tracking system was not updated on a real time basis and did not provide immediate reporting, making it difficult to identify non-compliant employees.
After a thorough market analysis effort, Sinai Health System selected Carminati Consulting’s Immuware software to transform the organization’s process of:
- Tracking, recording and accessing employee immunization, surveillance, screening and testing activity and data
- Monitoring and reporting regulatory compliance in a timely and effective manner.
The Immuware team worked collaboratively with Sinai Health System’s Employee Health Department to build a custom, mobile web-based solution around four strategic goals:
- Efficiently connect health compliance clinicians with employees across the organization during the annual influenza vaccination and all other compliance campaigns.
- Streamline and integrate the process for clinicians to capture, access and record all vaccinations and compliance testing for all locations.
- Automatically generate all regulatory compliance reporting for State and Federal regulatory agencies.
- Capture information for all employees, including those that decline vaccination or are vaccinated or screened outside of the hospital’s internal system (i.e. primary care physician, public pharmacy, etc.).
The team started by engaging Sinai subject matter experts (SMEs) as part of two workshop meetings. The workshops garnered critical information on Sinai-specific process workflow and data, organizational structure and unique requirements. This process also shed light on the challenges of the legacy process. Regular project status meetings held during the design and implementation period provided critical information on the specific vaccinations, surveillance programs and occupational tests most important to Sinai, which allowed the Immuware team to configure and tailor the system to meet the specific needs of Sinai. In addition to identifying important legacy information, key checkpoint and system showcase meetings helped to establish the trust and support of Sinai leadership, administrators and lead users throughout the development, testing and rollout.
Testing, Training and Rollout
Prior to debuting the new system, a group of Sinai Health System end users engaged in User Acceptance Testing (UAT) of the system to ensure that:
- they were easily able to record and capture all data related to the specific vaccinations and tests as expected,
- the system configured workflow met their needs,
- all data for the flu season to date had been migrated,
- the interface with the payroll system for personnel data was accurate and effective,
- security and permissions were set up correctly,
- reports and dashboards were formatted, calculating and reporting data as expected,
- dashboards were showing the appropriate supervisor level data
- automated emails were generated as expected
Before the system rollout, users and administrators also participated in a 2-hour on-site training session at which they received a user guide that would serve as an ongoing reference tool. The familiarity that users had with the system as a result of prior workshops, showcases and UAT engagement proved to be extremely beneficial. During and following the training, users expressed their enthusiasm for the system with words such as “intuitive,” “easy-to use,” “clean” and “modern.”
To meet the timing of the imminent flu season, the team configured and implemented the new, cloud hosted, web-based solution in just four-weeks.
With the mobile vaccination tracking tool, for the first time ever, Sinai’s hospital administrators and clinicians have immediate access to precise and reliable immunization data and the ability to view compliance status in real time. In addition, dashboard metrics provide visibility into employee immunization status by Sinai Health system location and as well location of vaccinations received outside the hospital network.
The thorough employee engagement, due diligence and development processes resulted in system features including:
- Real time access to metrics and data that empowers administrators and supervisors to act quickly and achieve desired results,
- Electronic signature and content storage within the system,
- Ability to instantly photograph and upload paper compliance document images and/or externally administered vaccination certifications and attach to individual employee records,
- Full insight into specific personnel’s compliance performance with uniform status terminology: vaccinated, exempt or declined,
- Automatic emails notifications to alert employees and supervisors of non- compliance,
- 100% clinician mobility by working on any desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone, regardless of operating system,
- Dashboards that provide tailored views of immunizations by location, employee position or employee type,
- Easy analysis of employee immunization data for better identification of bottlenecks,
- Integration with hospital HR Systems for auto refreshed personnel data,
- Embedded National Health Safety Network (NHSN) report format.
Real time dashboard supervisor reporting, employee self-reporting and regular system generated email communications have transformed the process and the level of awareness throughout the organization of this important compliance effort. Empowered supervisors and individual employees take ownership and accountability for their compliance.
Since the rollout, Sinai has:
- Achieved 99% compliance for both the Flu and Tuberculin (TB) Skin Test by January 2017 – 20% faster than prior year’s Flu season.
- Reduced total annual administrative time on vaccination compliance activities by over 350 hours, freeing up staff to perform value added activities.
- Reduced staff time spent generating administrator and supervisor reports by 40 hours per administrator annually.
- Reduced staff time spent calculating the CDC’s NHSN reporting metrics by eight hours per administrator annually.
- Improved accuracy of employee vaccination records including elimination of duplicate entries, etc.
- Achieved 100% accuracy of personnel demographic, hire and termination status data through integration with the payroll system.
- Achieved significant improvements accuracy and efficiency in reporting to federal and state regulatory agencies.
“Immuware helped us solve a pressing business challenge with a winning IT solution. They sat at the table with us, listened, challenged our status quo and pushed the envelope to build a software solution that is easy to use and completely automates our workflow. The IT solution is an invaluable tool.“- Project Director at Sinai Health System.