Next to clean water, immunization is one of the most successful public health achievements of all time. For more than 13 years, Brunet-García Advertising has been helping healthcare providers, schools, and families stay up-to-date on vaccinations.
Brunet-García teams with the Florida Department of Health on Florida SHOTS (State Health Online Tracking System), a free, statewide, centralized online immunization registry that helps healthcare providers and schools keep track of immunization records to ensure patients of all ages receive the vaccinations needed to protect them from dangerous vaccine-preventable diseases.
“More than 1 billion lives have been saved by vaccines, and we are so fortunate to have them to protect ourselves and our loved ones,” said Public Health Marketing Specialist Keenan Farrar. “Most people alive today don’t remember the fear, suffering, and deaths caused by vaccine-preventable diseases like measles and polio, but these diseases are still circulating and pose a threat to anyone who isn’t vaccinated.”
The Brunet-García Florida SHOTS field team includes a training team and a data upload team who work closely together to support the enrollment, training, and data exchange of vaccine records to and from the registry.
“We’ve worked with Florida SHOTS since its initial days, facilitating the rollout from pilot to health care providers who vaccinate patients up to the age of 2,” said Lead Brand Strategist Kim Vermillion. “Since that start, the registry—and our outreach and support—has expanded to include patients across the lifespan, all of Florida’s immunizing providers, medical software providers, schools, childcare facilities, pharmacies, and the general public. Additionally, registry functionality now encompasses the Vaccines for Children (VFC) vaccine ordering and management and data exchange that fulfills federal meaningful use requirements.”
The field trainers provide in-person and webinar training for healthcare providers and schools covering all aspects of the registry. They also create training materials including recorded webinars and guides in both English and Spanish, participate in immunization task forces, and represent Florida SHOTS at numerous professional conferences and immunization meetings across the state.
These field trainers are experts in the registry; pediatric, adolescent, and adult immunization issues; and the VFC program. They train new providers and staff, offer support and troubleshooting for experienced users, and provide outreach to promote the benefits of Florida SHOTS to health care providers, schools, and stakeholders across the state.
The data upload team works with medical software companies, large health systems, pharmacies, and provider offices to develop, test, and implement interoperability that allows for the automated transfer of records from participants’ medical software (e.g., EMRs/EHRs) to and from the registry. The team also works with participants to ensure the shot record data coming into the registry is complete, correct, and current.
Several years ago, all Florida SHOTS trainings were done face-to-face in provider offices. With shrinking budgets and staff, the field team realized the need to provide a more efficient training model.
“We began providing weekly training webinars for up to 100 participants at each session, and we’re excited to hear that providers really enjoyed them,” Vermillion said. “This was a win-win because it allowed us to decrease our travel by 80 percent and increase our usage by 270 percent.”
To date, Brunet-García has trained more than 5,000 users.
“When you get a vaccine, you’re not only protecting yourself from the disease, but you’re helping your community at the same time,” Farrar said. “For vaccines to be most effective overall, it’s important to have high vaccine coverage, or ‘herd immunity’ to protect the most vulnerable in our society, like newborn babies, people with certain illnesses, and others who cannot receive vaccines themselves.”
Working with Florida SHOTS has given Brunet-García the experience and expertise to support and promote immunization and registry outreach, in addition to other important public health initiatives throughout the U.S.