Tracking Vaccine Status to Keep Johns Hopkins Safe

The Vaccine Management System (VMS) serves the needs of Johns Hopkins health services teams when vaccines rolled out and tracking was required.

Frontline Johns Hopkins medical providers received their first COVID-19 vaccine shots in December 2020.

In early 2021, as vaccines became more widely available, Clarence Lam, at the time Interim Director for the Department of Health, Safety and Environment faced a question: how do we create a system for tracking and verifying who has been vaccinated or exempted, and for managing compliance at a complex health system?

Roanna Kessler, Chief Medical Director for Student Health and Well-being grappled with a similar problem. When vaccines became required for the student population, how could we convert the previously piecemeal and manual system for collecting vaccine information from admitted students into a single automated system for regular vaccine reporting?

The Technology Innovation Center was well-suited to solving this challenge with expertise in enterprise platform development, human-centered design, and analytics. The TIC created the Vaccine Management System (VMS), a vaccine reporting, tracking, and compliance process delivered through a technology platform and serving nearly 86,000 active Johns Hopkins students, staff, and faculty who wished to return to campus work or study.

“We were worried because previously every school had a different way of keeping track of people’s vaccine records. The thought of having to utilize all those different systems and coordinating that information, that was not a good solution.”
— Roanna Kessler, Chief Medical Director for Student Health and Well-Being

“We needed a system that could track things annually instead of a once and done thing,” said Lam of the employee vaccine records.

The TIC quickly stood up the Vaccine Management System to serve Lam and Kessler’s needs, meeting with teams from the university and the health system to ensure all requirements were met. The system allows individuals to upload and input vaccine or exception information. Health services and equity teams use the system to approve the documentation or request more information. Participants receive automated reminders when vaccine documentation is in review, approved, or late. The TIC Analytics team also added a dashboard in the system for individual managers to track vaccine statuses for their employees to ensure compliance.

“It made it easier to pull information from Epic. It made it a lot more user-friendly for us. It was helpful to initially track where people were at,” said Lam.

Kessler watched as the manual process of receiving thousands of faxes and emails and verifying those records, then inputting them in the computer — a process that previously took six people all summer to complete — became automated.

Kessler says the ability to quickly search and look up records eased access and the exception request process was also streamlined and automated.

“I think there is no way we could have managed the volume of submissions if not for this program,” says Kessler.

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Johns Hopkins Technology Innovation Center

Engaging scientists and clinicians in a multidisciplinary community to reimagine healthcare and deliver the promise of medicine.