Orange County Health Care Agency Set to Roll Out Vaccine Tracking App

Orange County Health Care Agency Set to Roll Out Vaccine Tracking App
A nurse receives a COVID-19 vaccination at UCI Medical Center in Orange, Calif., on Dec. 16, 2020. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

The Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) will unveil a new tool on Dec. 29 that will help monitor COVID-19 vaccination trends while simplifying the inoculation process.

The smart phone app, called Othena, will allow residents of the Southern California county to register for vaccination appointments online. Meantime, health care providers can use the app to track vaccine schedules, side effects, and the number of people receiving shots.

“I feel really good about it,” Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett told The Epoch Times.

“What’s great about it is it triangulates all the data points we need for reporting purposes, for auditing purposes, and to see how much of our population is vaccinated. We can keep track of all the data of what’s happening before and after the patient gets vaccinated.”

Bartlett, who participated in a presentation about the software on Dec. 28, is pushing for the app to be mandatory.

“I think it’s important to have all the data points in one repository,” she said. “Just say for efficiency and for producing accurate reports with all the data points, and for keeping track of side effects, it’s important to have all of the data points within one system.”

St. Joseph Hospital workers on Dec. 16 became the first people in Orange County to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. Other medical staff—along with frontline workers such as police and firefighters—have since been inoculated. Their information will be added to the app manually, if tracking becomes mandatory, Bartlett said.

Patient privacy will not be compromised, she said.

“It protects the privacy of all the confidential information of the patient. It’s only the people that have certain security levels—like the clinicians or providers—that would have access to certain information,” she said.

“And then for general reporting purposes, those on the administrative side would have access to some of the data points that are specific to reporting up to the same level, but the privacy information for the patients is always protected.”

An OCHCA spokesman said more information will be released during a Dec. 29 press conference.

Michelle Thompson is an editor and reporter based in Orange County, California. Her award-winning work has appeared in numerous major Canadian daily newspapers, as well as multiple U.S. publications.
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