Vaccines and the state of vaccination is on everyone’s mind. Wasted doses, missed appointments, and hesitance to sign up are all issues that pharmacies and other vaccination sites are facing. On a pharmacy level, you want to avoid all of those situations and deliver as many vaccinations as possible. According to data from the American CDC, 1.55 million doses of vaccine have been wasted. However, some academics place that number higher at 17.6 million. Around the world, the WHO has estimated that vaccine wastage is at or above 50%. Those are big numbers, and clearly the increased pressure on the health care system is a contributing factor.
How do we alleviate that pressure? It can be done with an automated vaccine uptake process that has the ability to notify patients of missed doses that need to be administered before they spoil. If fewer doses spoil, more people can be vaccinated in a shorter amount of time. Not only that, but the space between second doses might not have to be so long. There have already been concerns raised about the safety of wait times, which in some places are months beyond the recommended time between doses.
In short, by automating the process we can take some pressure off of the front-line workers in pharmacies, but also have some potentially far-reaching impacts on the entire vaccination process that will benefit everyone and make getting back to something like normal that much easier.
What is an Automated Vaccine Uptake Process?
In broad strokes, an automated vaccine uptake solution is an automatic means to send messages to your entire patient list depending on where they are in the vaccination process; automatically add and remove patients from your list; and also manage special requirements or health concerns. For example, let’s say that you have 100 people sign up for a vaccination. The day of their appointment, a family of five has to pull out due to personal circumstances. The doses for these people have already been pulled and have a limited time before they spoil. Using a manual system, you could call patients on the waitlist until you have filled the five appointments, but double booking is possible and some people may not get the message until it is too late.
With an automated system, you boost the chances of getting in touch with patients in a way that will be relevant to them, so they’re more likely to reply. Furthermore, you can limit the number of affirmative replies and have an automatic notification go out to everyone contacted when the correct number of respondents has been reached. This means that there is no chance of double booking and people know for sure if they have been selected to receive an early dose. You can plan the rest of your day without having to stop and write emails or make phone calls to arrange this.
How to Set up an Automated Vaccine Uptake Process
You can easily set up a basic vaccine uptake process using these four steps. If you need to customize your setup further, you need to ensure that your system is capable of that customization, and that it can scale with the changing scope of the pandemic.
Step 1: Appointment Scheduling
You need to capture patient data for the automated process to work. A signup form or landing page on your website, or a form that your phone operators can fill out will both place contact data in the database, so that automated messages can be personalized and sent out based on specific user criteria.
Step 2: Follow-up Messages
Follow-up messages help you to collect important information that might not have been included in the initial sign-up. These follow-up messages can also be thank you messages, confirmation messages, and more! You can ask for further information through embedded or linked webforms, or in the form of replies to messages.
Step 3: Short Notice Messages
These types of templated messages could be for emergency situations such as power outages, vaccines becoming available to the waitlist, and other unforeseen circumstances that could affect the vaccine patients. They are likewise pre-constructed, and can be sent when certain conditions are met, requiring only a couple of button presses from the pharmacist. These allow for emergency notifications to be sent out to almost any device at any time.
Step 4: Appointment Follow-up
Once a patient has attended their appointment, you need a follow-up email to collect data, thank them for their time, or even to notify them of their second dose appointment. These messages can also be templated, but most importantly, once follow-up messages have been sent, you want to be able to remove the patient from the mailing list to avoid contacting them excessively, or accidental booking of people who have already received their full dosage.
Now you have a basic process set up! It’s pretty straightforward and very user friendly.
Where Can I Find This Solution?
Setting up a system like this from scratch sounds like a logistical nightmare, but the good news is that you don’t have to do that. Using SimplyCast’s automated tools, you can select a template to follow these steps precisely, personalize that campaign to your business’s needs, and have it set and ready to go.
With a 99.5% uptime, unlimited contact storage capacity, and the ability to send out 100,000+ messages per hour, we can scale with you whether you’re big or small, to help ensure that your vaccines go into arms without fail. With high-level encryption and Canadian and US datacenters, as well as spam law compliance with CASL, CAN-SPAM, and GDPR, your data is secure and your messages will be safe to send.
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