Johns Hopkins' Dwight Raum on the CIO's dual role with COVID-19 vaccines 

When it comes to COVID-19 vaccine coordination, hospital and health system CIOs will play a dual role – one focused on both community distribution and employee distribution, according to Dwight Raum, interim vice president and CIO at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Preparations for COVID-19 vaccine distribution are underway and will be a priority for CIOs heading into next year. But while 25 states have immunization data systems in place, most aren't prepared to track COVID-19 vaccinations or submit data to the federal government, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation report.

Once a vaccine is authorized for roll out, Johns Hopkins plans to tap into its EMR technology to support coordination and distribution efforts.

"For community distribution, we're streamlining and automating as much as we can," Mr. Raum said. "The candidate vaccines are more complex to deliver than influenza vaccinations and, for this reason, we opted to use the full EMR for this process; EMR changes will support everything from new regulatory reporting requirements to unique vaccine workflow and the carefully timed second dose."

In addition to using the EMR to support distribution efforts, the Baltimore-based health system is looking into mobile administration options for when supplies become more robust as well as building on its employee influenza vaccination program. While the program has been in place for years, Mr. Raum said it is unable to deal with the complexities of the COVID-19 vaccine, especially with increasing community spread.

Johns Hopkins has a mobile map and website, called Prodensity, to provide daily symptom screening, flu shot confirmation, asymptomatic test results, a campus access pass and a central employee call center. The health system plans to soon incorporate a new COVID-19 vaccine check as well to support distribution coordination.

"To integrate all this data and workflow has required us to pre-position employee records in our EMR and to orchestrate workflow across the EMR, the call center and Prodensity, Mr. Raum said. "When the vaccine becomes available, we are prepared to manage prioritization, distribution and the transition to a more immune workforce."


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