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Vidant Health in eastern North Carolina is comprised of 10 hospitals. The system includes a flagship medical center in Greenville with 909 licensed and CON-approved beds, physician practices, home health, hospice and wellness centers. Its workforce is 12,000 strong, plus a fleet of volunteers and suppliers.
Formerly University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina, Vidant Health’s goal is to “enhance services that are available locally and eliminate barriers involving time, distance and lack of awareness that sometimes prevent patients from receiving the care they need.”
At Vidant, all staff – caregivers, administrators, vendors and volunteers – are required to comply with a mandatory flu vaccination policy that was adopted in 2012. Patient safety is the driving force. Corresponding benefits include protecting employees and demonstrating the system’s commitment to providing high-quality care in the safest manner possible.
Vidant installed UL EHS Sustainability’s Occupational Health Manager (OHM®) solution in October 2011. Vidant Corporate Health Services uses OHM’s robust monitoring and reporting capabilities to help manage all of its employee health functions including its flu ambassador campaign, flu shot clinics and roving carts, and a “FlexWork” staffing plan for nurses who administer the vaccine.
With onsite support from UL customer support, Vidant successfully pilot-tested UL’s new mobile vaccine app during a mock flu clinic at Vidant Medical Center using an iPad connected to a handheld scanner. The system plans to use the mobile app extensively this flu season.
During the mock flu clinic, Angie Carter, corporate health system analyst in Occupational Health Services at Vidant, and her colleagues set up two lines: one using the mobile app and scanner, the other using the traditional manual process, which involves collecting consent forms, keying in the vaccine record and uploading the consent form to the system.
The improvement was dramatic: a 4-to-1 ratio in terms of staff time savings and elimination of the chance for human error in the line where keyboards were replaced with employee badge scanners.
“Wow, what a difference,” Carter said. “During our mock flu clinic we were able to manage and process four employees via the mobile vaccine app to every one employee processed manually. Talk about an increase in productivity! The mobile app line rolled so efficiently, it was literally the fast track.”
“The online consent form contained all the required questions and we were able to capture the consent with signature, sending it directly to OHM. The vaccine record was recorded in real time, so we could literally go straight into the OHM vaccine module and view the record immediately. Compliance satisfied!”
“UL has been an awesome partner throughout this whole process.”
Notably, 99.9 percent of Vidant Health employees and volunteers complied with the mandatory vaccination policy in 2012, compared to 74 percent compliance in 2011 when compliance was voluntary. A total of 15,000 employees, vendors and volunteers were vaccinated. The vast majority of vaccines were tracked and verified through OHM.
“From my perspective, one of the biggest advantages of OHM is that we can manage the program system-wide, produce reports for various management groups, run labels, send letters…it’s very functional,” said Amy Pearson, R.N., M.P.H., C.O.H.N.-S, administrator, Corporate Health Services.
Beyond mandatory flu shots, Pearson said OHM is instrumental in helping her team develop “a structure within our structure” for employee health operations. For example, working with UL, one critical goal is the creation of a custom capability for online event reporting, starting encounters with supervisors’ input on required examinations.
“The flu campaign really opened our eyes to how we can use OHM more effectively in other areas,” Pearson said. “Our experience with that helped build the confidence level of our staff. They are very comfortable with the information OHM procures.”