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E-mail mistakenly sent to employees

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The Employee Health Services mistakenly sent an e-mail Monday morning informing thousands of Ohio State employees that they missed a required test or vaccine.

PeopleSoft, the software used by health services, generates automatic e-mails for people in the database who have a test or vaccine that is due, said Cindy Skeens, the director of Employee Health Services.

“What we had in there were some vaccines that were supposed to be turned off and not generating a note, but they did,” Skeens said.

Hooshang Hemami, a professor in the College of Engineering, said he has “a lot to do and a lot of students” and doesn’t have time to deal with “these silly messages.”

“I just deleted it when they sent it to us — we get a lot of these e-mails that are irrelevant or are a mistake, and consume a lot of time,” Hemami said. “They are a nuisance, but I just delete them.”

A human resources database contains all employee records, including flu shot records. For OSU faculty, the records are not necessarily accurate or updated because health services does not track all of campus, Skeens said.

“It’s different this year because we tapped into a larger database for the flu vaccine, so that may be what’s generating it,” Skeens said.

Faculty members and some students with accurate contact information in the database, who may have been due for a flu shot, might have received a notice of the missed appointment, even if they received the shot, Skeens said.

Health services sent a follow-up e-mail hours later, asking recipients to ignore the initial e-mail. This second e-mail was sent to all OSU e-mail addresses as a precaution.

Health services received “several hundred” calls about the e-mail, Skeens said.

“I thought they must not have tracked the flu shot, so I called the number that was given, but I never got a person,” said Maria Conroy, associate professor in the Knowlton School of Architecture. “I figured it was just a mix up — mainly on their end.”

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