Nothing Lasts Forever: 1 Reason for an Annual TB Test

March 17, 2011 at 9:28 pm 3 comments

For a generation that has grown up in the US without experiencing tuberculosis directly, the requirement that most Vendormate hospitals have for an annual proof of a negative PPD (or chest x-ray) for representatives and staff in patient care areas seems onerous.

It’s another to-do list item, a visit to the doctor, and nothing will come of it.

Honestly, that’s how many Vendormate account managers feel about getting their own annual PPD tests. Because they’re not typically in patient care areas, getting this done is generally above and beyond.

But this past month we experienced the value of this screening directly.  One of Vendormate’s own account managers went in for her annual PPD test.  This time the result was different.

This time the result was positive.

While the origin of the infection isn’t known, the most likely source is from one of her many visits to hospitals across the US as a part of her job.  She hasn’t had any other high risk exposures such as international travel.

It’s an asymptomatic, latent infection.  It isn’t active or contagious.  The follow-up chest x-ray was clear, and she’s under treatment to eliminate it.

So what seemed onerous may actually be lifesaving.

Tuberculosis is widespread, but effectively treated when caught in the latent stage.  When a simple annual test can keep it that way, it seems foolish for anyone who frequents hospitals not to get the test just for their own peace of mind.

NOTE:  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendation of “screening and evaluating HCWs who are at risk for TB disease or who might be exposed to M. tuberculosis” is one of the reasons hospitals have this requirement.

Entry filed under: Immunization Requirements, vendor credentials. Tags: , , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jeanette Kissee  |  March 30, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    What about the people who have converted and have had treatment? The CDC doesn’t recommend annual chest x-rays unless you have symptoms. Why are we being rejected?

    • 2. vendorcompliance  |  March 30, 2011 at 2:38 pm

      Good point. Frank Newlands, MD, our medical advisor, noted that the protocol is typically an annual document from a physician stating that the person is symptom free and a one-time chest x-ray in the file. That’s what Vendormate uses as the recommended response. In the meantime, if you’re having trouble with a specific hospital, please go to and create a case. We’ll work with you to get this cleared.

  • 3. Sharon  |  July 18, 2011 at 1:42 am

    I agree. I was treated when I was 10 years old for TB and have had chest xrays ever since. The problem with this testing is that anyone can walk off the streets and into patient areas, BUT reps are held to a different standard and extortion for money to do business that benefits hospitals.
    I had a bad hepatitis B vaccine and can NEVER have another vaccine so where does that lead me.
    I for one am trying to have the Illinois Attorney General look into this blatant violation of the criminal law for extortion for $250.00 or else.
    I never go in patient areas but am held to the same as someone who does.
    I work at a hospital in Chicago as a medical technologist, but those credentials aren’t good enough here. The tests are out of my pocket and NOT refundable by my employer.
    This is a double standard! I won'[t do business with hospitals that are part of this Vendormate game.


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