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Hartford Healthcare: Several vaccines and tuberculosis tests given may not be effective; patients should be re-vaccinated

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HARTFORD -- Some vaccines and tuberculosis tests provided at several health centers may not have been stored in accordance with manufacturers’ recommended temperature guidelines, according to Hartford HealthCare Medical Group.

Hartford Healthcare said about one percent of vaccines and tuberculosis tests provided at several Hartford HealthCare Medical Group offices may have been ineffective.

"Although this causes no harm to patients, temperature fluctuations may reduce the effectiveness of the vaccines, so the medical group is recommending that the 953 patients affected receive a second vaccine or tuberculosis test free of charge," said Hartford Healthcare.

Hartford Healthcare released the following details:

"The temperature fluctuations were found when Hartford HealthCare recently enacted a proactive auditing program for all of its locations that provide vaccinations. These patients received flu, tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis, pneumococcal, hepatitis B, and meningococcal vaccines at the Plainville, Vernon, Colchester, Norwichtown and Duncaster locations. The tuberculosis testing was done at the Montville, Wallingford, Norwich-West Side, Manchester and Meriden sites. A list of affected sites can be found here.

“First and foremost, we realize this is an inconvenience for our patients and thank them for their patience,” said Dr. Jack Ross, Hartford HealthCare’s Chief of Infectious Diseases. “Hartford HealthCare prides itself on being a high reliability organization. Our continued focus on reducing medical errors and improving the quality of care sometimes results in finding errors and making changes to help ensure the same thing doesn’t happen again.

“That’s exactly what happened in this circumstance — a new enhanced auditing process revealed temperature fluctuations and this finding allowed us to implement best practices and redundant protocols at all our health centers to help prevent this from happening again.”

Hartford HealthCare said they have taken the following steps:

  • On site re-education of staff at all locations
  • Daily temperature log recording and reporting
  • Monthly review of temperature logs
  • Periodic on-site vaccine storage audits
  • Ongoing standardization and placement of digital temperature data recorders at all sites without them
  • Researching new technology for central monitoring system with real time alerts for all sites.

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