Health Sciences Immunization Program (HSIP)
Updated September 10, 2021 at 4:11 p.m.
The Health Sciences Immunization Program (HSIP) ensures students enrolled in health sciences academic programs comply with the requirements detailed in the University’s affiliation agreements with clinical and practicum training sites. These affiliation agreements require students to complete and document immunizations and tuberculosis (TB) screening as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for healthcare personnel. The requirements reduce the risk of exposure to communicable diseases for students and their patients/clients.
- Pre-health sciences students do not participate in HSIP.
- UW Bothell: Health sciences students follow their program’s guidelines, rather than participating in HSIP.
- UW Tacoma: Social Work and MEDEX students participate in HSIP. Other Tacoma health sciences students follow their program’s guidelines.
Students enrolling in these UW health sciences programs that require clinical or practicum training to complete the degree should expect to receive notification from academic program staff of the HSIP requirements:
- Seattle campus HSIP Programs
- Medicine (MED)
- MEDEX – Seattle, Tacoma, Anchorage, Spokane, and Hawaii
- Medical Laboratory Science/Laboratory Medicine
- Rehab Medicine (DPT/MOT/P&O)
- Genetic Counseling
- Dentistry (DDS and most post-doctoral students)
- Pharmacy Doctorate (PharmD)
- Nursing (BSN/ABSN/DNP/Certificate)
- Social Work (BASW/MSW)
- Public Health (MPH/HIHIM/Nutrition)
- Speech & Hearing Sciences (SPHSC)
- Tacoma campus HSIP programs
HSIP contracts with a vendor, CastleBranch, to track immunization and TB testing compliance. Each health sciences school or program sends instructions to accepted students for creating their CastleBranch account, including deadlines for meeting HSIP requirements.
The tuition students pay quarterly includes an HSIP fee, which covers the cost of overall HSIP program administration.
Please refer to the Medical Waivers section of the Health Sciences Immunization Program Policy for details about exemptions to HSIP requirements. Refer to the section below regarding exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccination requirement.
COVID-19 vaccine information for students
Once you enter a participating health sciences school or program, you will pay the HSIP fee to cover the cost of administering the Health Sciences Immunization Program.
The amount of the fee is subject to change on a yearly basis and is attached to your tuition account for as long as you remain in your UW health sciences school or program.
Read the 2021-2022 Annual HSIP Fee (PDF) for specific details about how the health fee was calculated for the current school year.
Please note that the health fee is not health insurance. More information about getting health insurance coverage can be found on the Hall Health Center website.
We recommend students learn what health services are offered at the student health center on their “home” campus and in the community. Our Health Care Resources information sheet may also be of assistance for students who need initial or ongoing services in the WWAMI region (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
CastleBranch’s system uses the due dates in your account to calculate when you should receive reminder emails. CastleBranch staff do not provide specific medical advice or instruct you when to follow up for needed vaccines and lab tests. Please follow the HSIP Requirements Checklist in your To Do List and the CDC’s guidelines for minimum vaccine dose spacing to ensure your documentation is accepted. Visit your provider for advice. Then, email HSIP at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance if you have further questions.
Please note: Some schools will shorten annual TB and flu vaccine deadlines to less than one year to ensure administrative continuity, because training sites require assurance that requirements will not expire during the student’s rotation. Contact your school/program’s compliance staff if you have questions or concerns about a specific deadline.
CastleBranch sends numerous reminders until you upload documents that satisfy the appropriate To Do List requirement. If you upload items to your library (mydocuments), they are NOT submitted for review. The document center is for your personal use, and only visible to you. Documents that meet the To Do List guidelines will:
- Extend a due date (incomplete, but future action) for items in process (like Hepatitis B) or
- Complete the item for this year; item is then due next year (like flu shots and TB screening) or
- Complete the item until the next time it's due (like Tdap, expires every 10 years)
The most common reasons for TB document rejection are:
- The entering student submitted only one PPD. A blood test or two-step PPD is required for initial testing. Here is a link to CDC information about two-step testing for health care workers.
- The student’s PPD is missing a required element: Date Placed, Date Read, or Results in mm. Use the optional form in Requirement 1 (or on HSIP’s website) to assist with documentation.
- The IGRA (blood test for TB) is resulted on an immunization summary. Ask your provider to print out the actual lab report showing your result.
- The TB Questionnaire/TBSS did not upload correctly. Carefully follow submission instructions on the TBSS form for a positive screening.
- A chest x-ray (alone) is unacceptable unless accompanied by documentation of a positive TB screening. The CXR does not substitute for the TB test. Download the “positive TB” form from Requirement 1 of your To Do List and discuss options with your provider.
Look for the Upload File button in your immunization account, within each To Do List requirement. You will see an “in process” notation when you begin uploading a file. The message becomes “file submitted” when the document has finished uploading.
Some students have more than one CastleBranch account (e.g., one for immunizations and one for background checks; or one for University of Washington and one for another school). The login/ID for your UW immunization account is the email address used during tracker purchase. Contact CastleBranch customer service and give them permission to combine multiple UW accounts; choose one login/ID or the other. Then all your immunization and background check requirements will appear in one To Do List.
Try these tips:
- For lab tests, including TB blood tests and titers, check the tests, or results section:
- Click on the correct test.
- Find the printer icon, usually in the top right corner.
- Right click and “print to adobe” or “print to desktop”.
- Save the copy and upload this to your To Do List.
- For proof of vaccine administration:
- Check the visits section for the AVS (after visit summary) on the visit date. The summary may have your name, the “date of service”, and an area that states “vaccines given”. Print/Save per above instructions. OR
- Find the Immunization Summary or Immunization/Injection Administration List. Print/Save per above instructions.
- For PPD skin tests:
- Check the letters section. Click on the letter that shows the date placed, date read, and results in mm. OR
- Check the result/test section as above to find the date read and results in mm. Then, go to the visits section for an AVS (after visit summary) that shows the placement date. You’ll need to combine the two documents to show all required elements (placement/read/result) for a PPD.
Current students can access the “Immunization Summary Sheet/Results Document” from their CastleBranch account. If the written instructions seem confusing, look at the Video FAQ:
- Go to Document Center on the side bar
- Select “Clinical Requirements”
- Select “Results” by scrolling through the long list of chronological documents; look at the end of the list; the document may have a lot of numbers and follow the word “Results” or “merged”, i.e. results3428574629393958638.
- Click the “Need Help” button if you can’t find it.
- Select the Video FAQ titled “Compliance Summary Report”.
Here are three ways to contact CastleBranch customer services team:
- Call at 888-723-4263 (preferred contact method; you can leave a number for them to call back in order call was received)
- Live chat during business hours – chat option is available by clicking on the “Need Help?” menu on the top right side of the CastleBranch website once you’re logged in.
- Email at email@example.com
CastleBranch Hours of Operation:
Monday – Thursday: 8am – 8pm ET
Friday: 8am – 6:30pm ET
Sunday: 10am – 6:30pm ET
HSIP participants last enrolled prior to summer quarter 2018 should email HSIP at firstname.lastname@example.org to request an immunization summary. Please include your: health sciences program, dates attended, name during attendance, UW student ID number (if you recall) and/or date of birth.
Carefully follow the instructions provided for the Hepatitis B requirement.
- Upload any previous documented doses of Hepatitis B vaccine (for most, a 3-dose series). If you didn’t finish the series, or didn’t upload a titer, you’ll be assigned “Hepatitis B 2nd Action” in your To Do List.
- For a series in process: upload documentation of each item as you complete it. You’ll continue to see new requirements in the To Do List. You are compliant as long as you stay on track with the CDC’s standard timeline for receiving each dose and the follow up titer.
- If you didn’t initially upload a titer: obtain the required blood test, then upload the lab report, even if the result was negative.
- A negative titer prompts an additional requirement called “Hepatitis B Booster/Repeat Vaccine + Second Titer Action 1” in the To Do List. Obtain ONE “BOOSTING” dose of either the traditional vaccine or the new Heplisav B vaccine; upload documentation to the requirement.
- The next requirement, called “Hepatitis B Booster/Repeat Vaccine + Second Titer Action 2”, will be added to your To Do List. A month after the boosting dose, repeat the quantitative HSAB blood test, then upload a copy of the lab report that shows your result.
- You only need the remainder of the 2nd series if your repeat titer is negative. The algorithm (chart) showing this CDC guideline is in the FORMS requirement of your To Do List.
If you’ve never had the series before, start as soon as possible after admission; the CDC recommends completion prior to patient contact. Upload EACH DOSE as you receive it. A newer vaccine is now available consisting of two doses given a minimum one month apart.
Yes, you need both. HSIP follows current CDC guidelines which define Hepatitis B immunity as a positive titer PLUS documentation of the complete vaccine series. Verbal histories are not acceptable for health care personnel. These guidelines ensure lasting immunity.
Email and Records Security: Students submit most forms and supporting documentation to their CastleBranch account. Detailed information about records and security systems, documentation and storage is available on the CastleBranch website. CastleBranch meets all of UW’s security requirements for contractors who handle student records and data.
We recommend students use their UW NetID email address (XXXX@uw.edu) to create their CastleBranch account, and to increase the security of electronic communication when emailing HSIP at email@example.com. We reply using students’ UW email addresses whenever possible.
Confidentiality: Information students submit to CastleBranch or HSIP is discussed, communicated and shared with their schools/programs, and practicum/clinical training sites on a need-to-know basis prior to and during placement.