Thanks to prodding by TMA and three specialty societies, creators of the HealthMap Vaccine Finder website added wording reminding patients they can get flu shots from their physician. The website tells patients where they can get influenza vaccinations in their neighborhoods.
Children's Hospital at Harvard and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) added "You can always contact your physician's office to get your flu shot" to the right side of the page, directly beneath where patients select their flu vaccine options. They did so after TMA, the Texas Pediatric Society, the Texas Academy of Family Physicians, and the American College of Physicians-Texas Chapter wrote HHS in September because the website did not acknowledge the medical home as the first place to seek flu shots. It primarily listed freestanding and grocery store pharmacies that provide the influenza vaccine. Lewis Foxhall, MD, vice president of health policy at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and a member of the TMA Board of Trustees, alerted TMA to the problem.
HHS officials acknowledged that TMA and the specialty societies were correct. "Your point is well taken, and we are already exploring options to resolve the oversight," an HHS official wrote.
Here are instructions to make sure your practice shows up on the website:
- To upload your office's information, you'll first need to create an account.
- You will receive a password via email once your account is approved, usually within 24 hours.
- You can then log in.
- Once logged in, click on the Add Provider tab. If you are adding one or a few locations, just 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, fill in the relevant fields, and upload as a .csv file. Please see the formatting tips under the Help tab to ensure you format your spreadsheet correctly.
Further assistance is on the Help tab, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Action, Dec. 17, 2012