6 Proven Strategies to Enhance Student Immunization Compliance
Immunization compliance is an integral part of the college enrollment process. With the rush of students coming in each semester (and especially over the summer months), this can be a stressful and time-consuming task for your clinic’s staff.
For healthcare students who take part in clinical and residency programs, even more vaccines (and therefore verifications) are likely required. With all of the various requirements of the different programs, it can be challenging to efficiently collect and verify student immunization data at scale.
In addition, your immunization verification process also needs to maintain compliance with data protection rules set by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
Lastly, new standards for health and safety may be periodically established for future infectious diseases, such as COVID-19. This makes it even more critical to efficiently manage an immunization compliance program.
How to Improve Your Student Immunization Compliance Process
Collecting and verifying immunization records is complex and time intensive. Plus, it requires cooperation and communication from students. Despite the challenges of collecting and verifying substantial amounts of student health data, there are steps you can take to make this process less painful for all involved.
Implementing the following measures will enable your clinic to experience the advantages of a streamlined and regulatory-compliant immunization management system:
- Establish a reasonable timeline. Ensuring that students are aware of when their immunizations are due is essential for compliance. Letting students know well in advance will give them enough time to properly gather and submit their immunization records. Less stress for them means less stress for you!
- Communicate requirements clearly. College students have a lot on their plate, especially incoming first-year students. It’s critical to clearly outline immunization requirements. This is especially true when outlining specific requirements for different academic programs, as mentioned above.
- Establish safe and secure reporting. Utilizing an EHR that has reporting capabilities can make a significant impact on immunization compliance efforts. Reporting features allow clinic staff to create customized cohorts, leverage advanced filtering, and view real-time compliance status, allowing for more accurate and transparent tracking.
- Automate manual verification processes. Manually verifying immunizations is extremely time-consuming. Having the ability to automate the process with an effective EHR is going to speed up the process significantly.
- Use technology to communicate at scale. Automated messaging tools can help you send out reminders to students regarding certain immunization requirements and deadlines. This can alleviate the burden on staff responsible for contacting students via phone or email.
- Integrate with applicable systems. A game changer for immunization tracking is the ability to interface with your state’s registry. This will save time and improve efficiency, resulting in a more streamlined and effective clinic.