“Vaccination Management: Is Your Practice on Target?” [September/October 2008] by Kent Moore, Cindy Hughes, CPC, and Trevor Stone points to an important issue: How to protect patients from disease through vaccination and, at the same time, control the financial risks associated with providing recommended immunizations. The authors did a marvelous job in outlining various strategies that are helpful for family physicians and staff members.
From the scientific standpoint, proper acquisition, handling, storage and maintenance, as well as inoculation, documentation and biosecurity of vaccines are the most important factors for a successful vaccination program. Contamination, breakdown of vaccine components and incorrect inoculation make vaccination programs not only useless but also dangerous for patients. I suggest having not only one staff member but two trained in the immunization process because of the negative impact that a solo coordinator's unexpected absence might have on the program. Furthermore, publications such as Understanding Vaccines: What They Are and How They Work from the National Institutes of Health (available at http://www3.niaid.nih.gov/topics/vaccines/pdf/undvacc.pdf) can be helpful for training staff members.