Albany County is steadily moving through the COVID-19 Phase 1 b vaccination priority list but concerns about the registration process have arisen among residents. The digital age tends to require lots of form filling and account making and some members of the community are weary of creating yet another account they might not access that often.

In a brief phone conversation Wednesday, Sagan Wheeler, director of marketing and communication at Ivinson Memorial Hospital, spoke to this concern and said creating a My Health Connection account is the most efficient method for streamlined vaccine administration.

Signing up for an account creates an electronic record and better organizes patient information. In essence, the patient is able to access medical histories, test results, vaccine information, etc. from one centralized location.

Wheeler said IMH is encouraging the community to sign up for My Health Connection because it makes scheduling a vaccination, documenting and reporting more efficient and organized; however, it isn’t necessarily required. There is another way to schedule immunization with the hospital.

Residents who do not wish to create an account or are having difficulties navigating the IMH online Health Connection portal can contact the Albany County COVID-19 call center and schedule their vaccine appointment via phone. Wheeler said individuals can expect notifications about eligibility and scheduling from someone at the center based on the contact information provided.

Other concerns regard the security of heath records and whether or not patient information will be sold or reported.

Wheeler said the hospital’s electronic health record system is incredibly secure and assured the public all information is kept safe and confidential.

“These systems are built to do this type of work,” she said, adding if at any point a patient wishes to delete or disable their account, they are free to do so.

Wheeler said although the health record system is primarily used to manage patient medical records and give patients access to their personal records, it is also used to document the COVID-19 vaccine administration so Albany County can accurately report their progression to the Wyoming Department of Health.

“(WDH) are tracking all vaccines distributed and administered (in the state),” Wheeler said.

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