What is Vaccine Tracking Software and Why Do You Need it?
Meeting the Unique Demands of COVID-19 in the Workplace
It’s no secret that the COVID-19 vaccine has been a hotly debated topic in the workplace. As businesses began to return to work in June and July of this year, many opted to mandate vaccines as a return-to-work prerequisite. Others, hoping to avoid alienating workers or fearing reputational backlash, chose not to.
Today, just months later, companies don’t have as much say in the matter. President Biden announced new regulations in September 2021 that fall under the purview of OSHA which call for businesses with more than 100 employees to require vaccines or mandate weekly testing.
While the push to get workers vaccinated has been contested in some circles, American employees appear to support the efforts. In our workforce sentiment survey, we learned that the majority of workers (57%) want workplace vaccination mandates. It’s likely that workers support vaccine mandates because of health concerns, but mandatory policies offer other benefits too.
According to the CDC, workplace vaccine policies are important because they:
- Keep the workforce healthy by preventing employees from getting COVID-19
- Reduce absences due to illness
- Improve productivity
- Improve morale
How can I keep track of employee vaccination status?
Whether your business has a vaccine mandate or not, you’ll still want to keep track of your employees’ vaccination statuses. Doing so will help your business manage employee exemptions from workplace policies, like daily wellness surveys.
Many businesses may opt to track this information by hand. This entails requesting copies of vaccination cards and manually filing hard copies in physical locations or securely storing the information in a digital drive.
2. With Software
Digital is the preferred method for tracking vaccination status, as it reduces the need for manual labor, slashes the margin for error, and ensures only approved individuals have access to this information.
Why do you need vaccine tracking software?
The various legal milestones on the vaccine front have answered some questions but presented others. Companies received clarity on the legality of mandating vaccine policies and inquiring about worker vaccine status but were left with very little guidance on how to capture immunization information.
Vaccine tracking software helps organizations:
1. Easily verify immunization status of employees
A central repository makes it easy to cross reference the digital files of who’s vaccinated, while manual systems require companies to sift through cumbersome hard copy files to do so.
2. Maintain compliance
Manually tracking employee vaccination status is time consuming and error-prone, but also creates challenges for ensuring compliance as regulations change with time. For example, forthcoming best practice guidance may dictate that individuals need a third booster shot, or that vaccines are required every year. The right vaccine tracking software will make it easy to update employee status as the landscape changes.
3. Manage exemptions
A centralized repository to manage and track employee vaccination status will also provide a place to keep note of employee exemptions, like those granted to individuals on the basis of religious belief or a disability. More relevant to the daily operations of most businesses is the ability to “exempt” vaccinated employees from office policies, like daily wellness surveys. Keeping this information in a single, searchable repository with limited access will help protect both the workforce and the company. ..
Here’s what to look for in vaccination tracking software
1. Easy for employees to confidentially self-report
As always, the best solution is one that is easy to use, so choose a software that simplifies the process for employees who need to submit information and/or proof of vaccination.
2. Securely stores information and allows authorized access only
Since sensitive employee information is being requested, businesses must ensure that their solution is secure and allows for limited access to authorized personnel only.
3. Simple to use and search
Just as the solution should be easy for employees to add their personal information, the software must be user-friendly for the functions working with it, like operations and HR. You want a searchable database that makes it easy to approve or deny employee requests and access this information as needed.
4. Smart integrations available
Your vaccination tracking software should integrate with other relevant systems. For example, you’d want your tracking solution to integrate with a wellness survey system to automatically disable or enable daily questionnaires.
Vaccine Tracking Software Supports a Healthy Workplace
Tracking the vaccination status of employees is just one of the unique demands created by COVID-19 in the workplace. While business leaders were initially caught unawares by the pandemic, today they have an arsenal of tools at their disposal to help them manage a safe and secure workplace and workforce, like vaccine tracking software. The right solution will make it easy for employees to confidentially self-report and allow HR to manage and search the status or employees with ease. Opt for one that integrates with other relevant systems and provides secure access to authorized personnel.