TAFP advocates for physician inclusion in vaccine listing

Tags: influenza, health and human services, flu, vaccine, immunization

TAFP advocates for physician inclusion
in vaccine listing

Register your practice as a flu vaccine provider with HHS

posted 10.09.12

Together with the Texas Medical Association, Texas Pediatric Society, and Texas Chapter of the American College of Physicians, TAFP approached the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to voice concern that the tool they provide to the public to locate influenza vaccine—the Flu Vaccine Finder—was populated primarily with freestanding and grocery store pharmacies, rather than physicians’ offices or a patient’s medical home.

As the organizations wrote in a joint letter, “For years Texas physicians have promoted the medical home as the most effective way to ensure quality, coordinated care that includes evidence-based preventive health, and vaccinations in particular, for our patients. In a large state with a complex health care system and millions of uninsured people, the physician’s office and medical home are still where most Texans get their vaccinations.”

“Additionally, our physicians have advocated for a strong state immunization registry to maintain accurate information on each individual’s vaccinations. Unlike medical homes, pharmacies do not routinely use the Texas immunization registry, which is an important surveillance tool for public health and for physicians who must know about each vaccination each of their patients has received. In our state, a vaccination provided at a pharmacy typically is not reported to the state’s immunization registry.”

HHS responded to Texas physicians’ concerns and added the language, “You can always contact your physician’s office to get your flu shot” to the right control panel of the Finder, directly beneath where a user would select their flu vaccine options.

This is a significant step to support the physician’s role in coordinating a patient’s preventive health goals and to support the medical home. However, physicians must take additional action to ensure their offices are included as an immunization location. The instructions for enrolling in the flu finder application follow.

  1. To upload your office’s information, you’ll first need to create an account at https://flushot.healthmap.org/admin/signup/.
  2. You will receive a password via e-mail once your account has been approved, usually within 24 hours.
  3. You can then log in at https://flushot.healthmap.org/admin.
  4. Once you’re logged in, click on the Add Provider tab. If you are adding one or a few locations, scroll down to the Individual Provider Entry Form and fill out the relevant fields. Be sure to press “Submit” at the bottom of the page.
  5. If you need to add multiple locations, use the “Upload a Spreadsheet” tool at the top of the Add Provider tab. Download the spreadsheet template at https://flushot.healthmap.org/admin/dataentry/expanded.xlsx, fill in the relevant fields, and upload as a .csv file. Please see the formatting tips on the Help tab to ensure you format your spreadsheet correctly.
  6. More help can be found on the Help tab or by contacting us at vaccine@healthmap.org.

Once added, physicians’ office information is displayed on ZIP code appropriate maps along with retail and other entities.