Understaffing and backlog causing data entry delays for Geary County Health Department


JUNCTION CITY, Kan. (KSNT) – Geary County ranks among the bottom in vaccines delivered across the state, according to data from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

However, Tammy Von Busch, Director of the Geary County Health Department, points out the data entry process is causing delays.

“For every one minute that is spent doing a shot, there is another 10 to 15 minutes on the backend of that, that is a lot of administrative work,” Von Busch said.

That delay is consuming for the already understaffed health department. Even though shots are going into the arms of residents, there is a backlog of paperwork that is delaying the recording of those shots.

Every time a COVID-19 vaccine is administered, there is paperwork for each person that must be individually entered into state and federal systems, according to GCHD. Smaller and understaffed health departments like it struggle to keep up with vaccinating people and entering paperwork on time.

“I spend a lot of my time doing that, I take paperwork home on the evenings to work on it, I take stuff home on the weekends to work on it because we are trying to put it in the system,” Von Busch said.

The GCHD hired another person, whose sole job is to enter the information into KDHE and the CDC’s database.

Delays are not the only issue in Geary County. The county is also experiencing days when people do not show up to vaccination appointments, which could lead to wasted doses of opened vaccines.

“People need to get the vaccine wherever they can,” said Geary County Emergency Management Director Garry Berges. “We have got people that are signing up on multiple sites that are trying to hurry up so they can go ahead and get it. If they have tried to get it at three different locations and they get it at one, they need to contact those other two locations and say ‘hey I am no longer interested please take me off your list.'”

The process, which can be time consuming, is all part of the plan to get life back to normal.

“It is a long process, it takes a lot of time, and we are really working to make sure we can help as many people as we can,” Von Busch said.

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