The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) created an online tool, the Flu Vaccine Finder, to help patients find where to get a flu shot.
Earlier this month, TMA and the Texas Pediatric Society, the Texas Academy of Family Physicians, and the American College of Physicians, Texas Chapter, wrote HHS to complain about an obvious problem with the tool. The web app did not acknowledge the medical home as the first place to seek flu shots and appeared to be populated primarily with freestanding and grocery-store pharmacies that provide the influenza vaccine.
"Your point is well taken, and we are already exploring options to resolve the oversight," an HHS official answered two days later. "The finder will become even more important later this year or early in 2013 when the finder will be expanded beyond flu vaccine(s) to provide information about the availability of nearly a dozen adult vaccines."
The official also shared with TMA the basic instructions for making sure your practice shows up on the flu finder application:
- To upload your office's information, you'll first need to create an account at https://flushot.healthmap.org/admin/signup/.
- You will receive a password via email once your account has been approved, usually within 24 hours.
- You can then log in at https://flushot.healthmap.org/admin.
- Once you're logged in, click on the "Add Provider" tab. If you are adding one or a few locations, scroll down to the Individual Provider Entry Form and fill out the relevant fields. Be sure to press "Submit" at the bottom of the page.
- If you need to add multiple locations, use the "Upload a Spreadsheet" tool at the top of the Add Provider tab. Download the spreadsheet template, https://flushot.healthmap.org/admin/dataentry/expanded.xlsx, fill in the relevant fields, and upload as a .csv file. See the formatting tips on the "Help" tab to ensure you format your spreadsheet correctly.
More help can be found under the "Help" tab or by emailing email@example.com.
Action, Oct. 1, 2012