Sparrow Health System Unveils Feature To Digitally Prove COVID-19 Vaccine Status

In anticipation of more widespread COVID-19 vaccination requirements, Lansing-based Sparrow Health System on Tuesday, September 28, unveiled a new app feature that allows patients to produce electronic proof of vaccination.

“We wanted this vaccination identification technology to be available as soon as possible for mid-Michigan, so that people (who) are vaccinated can easily show it and be able to travel, attend events, do whatever they have to. need, ”said Tom Bres. , Senior Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Information Officer at Sparrow. “And being able to do it more easily than having to search for paper in their purse or pocket.”

Bres was speaking to reporters Tuesday outside the busy drive-thru site of Sparrow Laboratories on E. Michigan Avenue in Lansing.

Anyone, patient or not, in Michigan can download the MyChart app, enter personal information, select Sparrow from listed healthcare providers, and tap to update COVID-19 vaccination information, pulled from a state database.

It’s even easier for around 300,000 people who already use the My Sparrow app, which gives patients access to medical records, test results, prescription status and appointment times, among other things. you. For quick access, users can create a shortcut and view vaccine certification with one click.

Users have the option of viewing a QR code, which can be scanned at participating locations, uploading a PDF, or exporting to a health wallet, an app designed to store medical card information.

The QR code is uniquely embedded so the reader will know that Sparrow is part of Verifiable Clinical Information, an independent coalition that aims to ensure access and improve confidentiality and security of records.

“Now, few entities still read these codes or have the technology to read these codes. We think it will happen soon, ”Bres said.

He called the functionality innovative; Sparrow is one of 23 healthcare systems nationwide to make technology available. He didn’t know if other systems in Michigan were using it. Sparrow expects other organizations to follow suit.

The feature was developed locally by Chelsei Carpenter, Application Analyst for Sparrow, as part of a patient care management tool used by many providers.

Because immunization data is part of My Sparrow’s health record, people can be sure the information is safe, Bres said as people waited in slow vehicles for booster shots, COVID testing and testing. ‘other services.

“It’s all part of a bigger effort… It’s your information as a patient, and it belongs to you. As a system, we are really committed to putting this in the hands of the patient, ”said Jon Baker, Director of Laboratories.

As of August 25, around 3,000 patients are already using this feature, which may later be provided by many other healthcare systems.

Bres said he knew someone who uploaded proof of vaccination in PDF format on Monday and provided it to an airline.

Sparrow is betting, as cases of COVID increase and health officials continually promote inoculation, vaccines could become more and more synonymous with travel, tickets and admissions.

Australian airline Qantas is set to become the first carrier to mandate passenger vaccinations, according to the Washington Post. Most cruise lines require vaccines.

One of the nation’s largest concert promoters, AEG Presents is requiring fans to show proof of vaccination, starting next month, at its owned and operated theaters, clubs and festivals, including the Royal Oak Music Theater and the Masonic Temple in Detroit. Maroon 5 and Jimmy Buffett performed to an audience vaccinated or negative for COVID in August and September in Michigan.

DeVos Performance Hall, a major venue in Grand Rapids, will not allow unvaccinated attendees unless they test negative for COVID-19.

Major road races, including the New York, Chicago and Boston marathons, are doing the same, requiring runners to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.

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