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Regional News

Covid Supply, Paperwork Among Biggest Hospital Concerns In Washington

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Courtesy of Washington Department of Health
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Hospital officials around Washington say they’re most worried about supply as they prepare to ramp up their Covid vaccination efforts. They say the demand for vaccines is outpacing the supply. They’re also worried whether they’ll receive enough shipments for second doses.

But there’s another complicating factor: paperwork. Cassie Sauer from the Washington State Hospital Association says the vaccine reporting requirements add to the process.

“You’re not reporting to the state, ‘We did 560 vaccines today.’ You’re reporting to the state, ‘Here are the 560 people I vaccinated today, by name, birthdate, et cetera.’ Each individual has to be entered into the Washington immunization information system so that each individual is tracked. It’s important, I think, to do that, but it is very labor intensive," she said.

Sauer says a mass vaccination site operated by Swedish Health at Seattle University has added to its recording labor force to make the system more efficient.

“They have two data entry people for each vaccinator. That’s the ratio they’ve decided they need, so they’re using a lot more people just to do data entry than they’re doing vaccinations and it’s cumbersome," she said.

Rosalinda Kibby from Columbia Basin Hospital in Ephrata says her facility has trained people who do other jobs to also handle vaccination registrations as a way to spread the burden.