April 13, 2007

Occupational Health expands immunization compliance programs

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Alvin Powers, M.D.

Occupational Health expands immunization compliance programs

In a move to improve patient safety at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, beginning in 2008, employee immunization and screening will be tracked in the performance evaluation system, and employee compliance with the immunization policy will be required for annual salary adjustments.

(Salary adjustments are already held up if tuberculosis (TB) tests are not current.)

In a related move, the Medical Center Medical Board decided last year to require that physicians' immunizations be current at the time of credentialing and re-credentialing.

To help make it easy for staff and faculty to get the vaccines and tests they need, the Occupational Health Clinic is expanding its mobile services.

• Last month, the clinic began offering TB screening, lab testing, vaccination and other services on a monthly basis at various off-campus Vanderbilt Medical Group locations around Middle Tennessee.

• Also last month, for the convenience of staff at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, the OHC launched a monthly onsite clinic in room VCH-7011; it will be held the first Thursday of each month from 1:15-4:30 p.m. for immunizations, TB testing and blood draws.

• Last year, the clinic began taking a cart around at night to provide services for employees in clinical areas here on campus; they call it Late Night with OHC. Catch them between 6 and 10 p.m. on the first Saturday and the second Wednesday of each month.

The Late Night nurses are available by pager during this time period — call the message service at 936-0955 to page them.

At this year's Spring Safety Fair, the OHC provided more than 400 immunizations and 200 lab tests, in addition to more than 1,300 TB skin tests. The clinic intends to provide these expanded services at future safety fairs also.

For more information, call 936-0955, or visit www.vanderbilt.edu/HRS/wellness/ occhealth.htm.