The Employer Solutions’ Corporate Health & Wellness team recently developed an efficient drive-through system that has successfully delivered the flu vaccine to more than 600 employees—and counting. The innovative model is one of the ways Vanderbilt Health has adapted to fulfill its commitment to deliver preventive care and lessen flu in the region while keeping the community safe in a pandemic.
"As employees gradually start heading back into their offices, several of our long-standing employer clients reached out with their concern that the flu could also be making its way into their workplaces,” says Jill Brewster, RN, BSN, TTS, CHC, Senior Program Manager for Vanderbilt Corporate Health and Wellness. “We were already developing a pandemic-friendly vaccination process for this flu season, so the timing was perfect for us to test out our new drive-through model. This model is a win-win because it is more efficient for everyone, which we hope will increase flu vaccination rates in our community.”
The streamlined process can be adapted to meet the needs of an employee population wherever it is, and it begins with employees electronically filling out and signing consent forms via a QR code. After signing up for their preferred time, employees drive to a designated spot in a nearby parking garage or tented portion of a workplace parking lot. Masked VUMC nurses then ask a few questions of the employees and vaccinate them from the comfort of their own car. After the flu shot, employees are asked to wait for 15 minutes in the rare event that they have a reaction. The team has also used a walk-through model if a worksite has a large room with proper entrance and exit areas and space to allow for social distancing.
“It’s not a cookie-cutter approach; we customize it depending on the employers’ needs,” Brewster says. “We’ve had great feedback so far, and most important, we’ve found a way to ensure employers can still encourage flu vaccination among their employees during this crucial time.”
In addition to helping to prevent flu, these vaccination events give Corporate Health team members a chance to talk to employees about other health concerns. “We love the ability to have conversations with people about changing their risk behaviors for the better,” Brewster says. “Giving the flu vaccine is a great way to start this dialogue.”
The events are scheduled through the beginning of October, and the team is ramping up capacity to serve the needs of more employers.
“Our goal is to have a healthier population, and we’re using this new process as a model for the future,” Brewster says. “With some employers having 50-60% of their workforce continuing to work from home, it may be one way we provide preventive health from now on.”
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