With a sudden rise in patients and demand for vaccines, like hundreds of similar organizations, NeighborHealth needed to update how they stored vaccines, managed inventory, and kept up with compliance using only the team they had in place. That’s why in 2020, NeighborHealth turned to AccuVax by TruMed for its vaccine storage needs. With the help of AccuVax, NeighborHealth has been able to meet the challenges that come with ensuring the highest-quality care for the underserved community in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Regardless of One’s Status, NeighborHealth Provides Continuity of Care.
For over two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has erected even more barriers to health care for people across the country. In 2020 alone, millions of people lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic, and in turn, lost access to health care. According to the CDC, more than 30 million Americans under the age of 65 are uninsured.
The center aims to reduce financial and nonfinancial barriers to care for the uninsured, under-insured, and otherwise marginalized populations. Members of its 60-person staff speak several languages, while the center also offers interpretation services and financial assistance for those who need it.
NeighborHealth also participates in the Vaccines For Children (VFC) Program to provide free vaccines to children who might not otherwise be vaccinated because of the inability to pay.
NeighborHealth opened its clinic in 2018 and quickly became part of the UNC Health Alliance, a statewide clinically integrated network focused on helping practices succeed in value care delivery.
Automating Compliance Means Better Patient Care.
Over the past few years, NeighborHealth has gone from seeing about 10 patients per day to over 100, in large part due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on employment and overall public health. The vaccine program in particular grew tremendously as millions of Americans have chosen to receive COVID-19 vaccines.
With a sudden rise in patients and demand for vaccines, like hundreds of similar organizations, NeighborHealth needed to update how they stored vaccines, took inventory, and kept up with compliance using only the team they had in place. That’s why in 2020, NeighborHealth turned to TruMed’s AccuVax for its vaccine storage needs.
AccuVax is the only purpose-built, automated, secure vaccine management system. The AccuVax Vaccine Management System stores both refrigerated and frozen vaccines in the same unit, holding 600 vaccines in its fridge and 120 in its freezer. It guarantees temperature control, has built-in battery back-up and provides real-time inventory counts. In short, it helps organizations like NeighborHealth streamline vaccine management and ensure compliance with federal vaccine mandates.
All of this is necessary for NeighborHealth to maintain certification to the VFC program and continue providing vaccines for those that need them most.
With the help of AccuVax, NeighborHealth has been able to meet all VFC storage and handling requirements. AccuVax guarantees constant temperature monitoring, and includes VFC-compliant temperature logs for submission. VFC and privately purchased vaccines are separated and all inventory is automatically rotated by expiry date to ensure minimal waste without any manual effort. Additionally, it helps staff easily confirm they have the correct vaccine and dosage prior to patient administration—a crucial safety check required of high-quality care.
Managing Inventory—and Employee Satisfaction.
NeighborHealth uses TruMed’s AccuShelf Inventory Management system to help with medication management and to stay compliant with federal regulations.
NeighborHealth qualifies as a covered entity and has access to the 340B Drug Pricing Program. The pricing agreements established through the 340B Program have far-reaching benefits. These significant discounts on prescription drugs can be a lifeline for providers like NeighborHealth, serving low-income and vulnerable populations. Participation in the 340B Program often determines whether a healthcare facility can survive while serving vulnerable communities.
The 340B Program is complex and can require a great deal of manual effort. To retain access to 340B pricing, NeighborHealth must stay in compliance with the strict program requirements at all times.
NeighborHealth uses TruMed’s AccuShelf Inventory Management System to stay 340B compliant. AccuShelf has built-in compliance reports, which help NeighborHealth track every dose by invoice, payor, and provider. Additionally, AccuShelf eliminates the cumbersome manual compliance efforts dreaded by staff, increasing overall employee satisfaction.
Using Technology Solutions to Simplify Care Delivery.
NeighborHealth has now been using AccuVax and AccuShelf for almost two years and has seen a complete transformation in staff workflows, enabling nurses to focus more on patient care.
AccuVax provides the ideal solution for simplifying the complexities of vaccine management. AccuVax handles temperature monitoring and adjustments to reduce vaccine waste, as well as real-time inventory and low stock alerts. With detailed reporting, AccuVax streamlines vaccine audits, eliminating the need for manual audits and saving nursing staff hours every month.
By automating repetitive but essential tasks, NeighborHealth nurses now have more time to do what they do best – spending time with patients, providing quality care and education, and ensuring care delivery runs smoothly for the whole department.
Putting Patient Safety First.
NeighborHealth prides itself on going above and beyond to ensure the health and safety of their patients. Through safety-focused team initiatives, NeighborHealth works on avoiding errors, and reducing the likelihood of mistakes. Scanning vaccines prior to loading and administering is a crucial part of this initiative. AccuVax provides additional safety precautions above and beyond NeighborHealth’s already stringent safety principles.
“We need to be able to make sure the vaccine is assigned to the right patient and given in the correct interval,” said Emily Watkins, Director of Clinical Operations at NeighborHealth.
Prior to dispensing vaccines, AccuVax performs safety checks to find possible cautions. AccuVax helps to reduce risk and improve vaccine safety at multiple levels: from guaranteeing temperatures to eliminating the potential to administer the wrong vaccine or wrong dose. AccuVax also locks down expired or recalled doses. AccuVax eliminates more than 91% of common vaccination errors. Continuously improving systems and programs to keep patients safe is a key component in NeighborHealth’s success.
NeighborHealth Center, Inc. (NHC), is a private, non-profit 501(c)3 agency founded to meet the healthcare needs of the underserved in the Raleigh area.