Posted By Monique Dever On March 2, 2018
During a press conference held on February 15, 2018, both Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Acting Director, Anne Schuchat, stressed that this year’s flu season “continues to be extremely challenging and intense” and that “all indications are that flu activity remains high and is likely to continue for several more weeks.” For the past few weeks, the entire nation has been under attack.
Clinicians have to do a lot, so how can healthcare agencies step up their game when it comes to combating outbreaks or other emerging health concerns? By using Electronic Health Records EHR technology that is equipped to face the challenges. Then managing the process becomes as simple as 1 – 2 – 3!
- Easily track trends and pinpoint where the FLU is hitting your communities the hardest
A good GIS Health Mapping system, integrated with Electronic Health Record (EHR) data, allows the health department to see actionable data in real time. This can be an effective tool to plan outreach and communicate need/strategy with community stakeholders.
- Execute an outreach plan – message all community members to let them know where they can get vaccinated
Communication tools built-in to the EHR can automate mass messaging to community members. This tool can be utilized to education members of the severity of the flu situation as well as where they can get a flu shot.
- Administer and easily document vaccines given to all patients that walk through your doors
A good EHR will have an Immunization feature that can improve the patient intake process and reduce the data entry efforts required by nurses. Inventory management and bar code scanning software can provide further automation.
With this technology at hand, health agencies can improve the management process of an epidemic such as this year’s flu outbreak. If you don’t have the support you need from an EHR, it’s not too late to get a plan in action. Here’s how.
To keep current on the flu outbreak, check out the CDC’s Weekly reports. And remember, to help prevent the spread of flu, avoid close contact, stay at home if you’re sick, cover your mouth and nose, wash your hands regularly, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, and practice general good health habits.