Paid Sponsorship by Atlantic Health Partners
While the COVID-19 pandemic has caused wide-ranging disruption across the healthcare industry, primary care practices have faced many additional challenges that impact all aspects of patient care, from diagnosing new conditions to vaccine administration. These changes require handoffs and continuity of care to ensure that patients’ care plans, especially preventative care like immunizations, are maintained.
Even with disruptions, maintaining preventive health is a key way practices can protect their patient populations, particularly as we enter flu season amidst the ongoing pandemic.
Preserving Vaccine Best Practices during a Transition
Working through organizational change or disruption is rarely seamless, but through thoughtful planning, preparation, and communication, providers can ensure their vaccine and other preventative care programs can adapt with change and continuously provide patients with the quality care they need.
Assess and Adjust Workflows
Changes, whether welcoming a new team member or merging two businesses, can interrupt workflows. Assess what current electronic health record (EHR) and practice management systems are in place and if any need to be merged. This is a critical first step to ensuring that everyday functions of the practice are not disrupted and important patient information, including vaccine records, is not lost.
Establish Ongoing Education
As businesses go through change or transition, often risks occur that cause policies and best practices to be laxed or forgotten. Regular training will help new staff get caught up quickly and more experienced staff stay up-to-date on important protocols, including vaccine administration guidelines, vaccine storage requirements, and other immunization best practices your practice may have in place.
Review New Patients and Their Needs
When practices close or merge, independent practices may find themselves welcoming new patients. Whether it’s 50 patients or one, it’s important to have processes in place to help staff quickly familiarize themselves with these new patients and their unique needs. This process should include a review of their vaccine records, flagging any outstanding immunizations, and developing a plan with the patient to get them caught up.
Consolidate Patient History
Keeping vaccine records up to date is key to a patient’s lifelong immunity and health, but when welcoming new patients, there is a possibility of duplicate records that require consolidation. When consolidating duplicate information, the American Immunization Registry Association recommends selecting the best values for each data element to form a new or consolidated record.
A strong vaccine program is essential to the wellbeing of any practice’s patient population. Providers can further enhance their program by upholding best practices during times of disruption to help keep patients on their recommended vaccine and preventative care schedules. Especially as we continue to weather the impact of COVID-19, physicians and other health care providers can prioritize best practices to help shield their patients, and their organizations, from disruption in care to maintain positive outcomes.
About Atlantic Health Partners
Atlantic Health Partners (Atlantic) has always been a strong resource for our members’ immunization efforts by offering the most favorable vaccine prices, terms, and purchasing support.
As the nation’s leading vaccine buying group, Atlantic assists more than 20,000 clinicians nationwide each year by offering cost-efficient vaccine solutions and program management assistance. Atlantic’s team of knowledgeable healthcare professionals and vaccine specialists serves as a trusted advisor to its partners providing the support and resources necessary to vaccinate patients effectively and efficiently.