Administering a vaccination program while treating overwhelming volumes of critically ill patients is quickly exhausting an already burdened healthcare system, one that many experts fear is on the brink of collapse. Unfortunately, the logistics and actual delivery of the vaccine are reminiscent of COVID-19 testing in the early days of the pandemic when there wasn’t enough information and resources to efficiently scale testing centers. Hospital workflows rapidly evolved and adapted as new information became available. We as an industry need to draw on these experiences for COVID-19 testing, results communications, and follow up in order to make the vaccination rollout to the general population as smooth and efficient as possible.
Since the announcement of vaccine availability, patients, staff, and community members are asking: When can I get the vaccine? How safe is the vaccine? What if I have allergies? Which vaccine will I get?, and more. These questions have flooded hospital call centers and individual physician practices – taking away valuable time from providing direct patient care.
Addtionally, an operational challenge for both the FDA-approved BioNTech/Pfizer Vaccine and Moderna Vaccine, is that they require two doses to be administered for optimal efficacy. Ensuring that those who get vaccinated receive both doses from the same manufacturer within the proper time frame provides an additional administrative burden on an already resource-strapped system.
In order to address some of these challenges, CipherHealth has implemented COVID-19 Vaccine Communications solutions across the country to alleviate some of the resource inefficiencies that have arisen due to the challenges of the rapidly evolving vaccination efforts.
Our COVID-19 Vaccine Communications solutions comprise the following four coordinated functional pillars:
- On-Demand Messaging – Nearly every health system has already done a tremendous job of sharing information proactively via websites, social media channels, and emails. To further enhance these communication strategies and reduce the burden of high volumes of incoming calls asking about COVID-19 vaccines, On-Demand Messaging uses automated calls and/or text messages to amplify these efforts. These outreach programs can proactively share basic information and encourage your community to check your website, or other sources, for updates. In combination with email, which not every patient will access, this adjunct strategy is essential for reaching those members of the community. With regular updates sent to your community through multiple modalities, you will reduce the number of incoming calls and the administrative burden that comes with these higher volumes. The messages also help demonstrate your organization’s commitment to keeping your communities safe and informed – helping to further amplify loyalty to your brand.
- Appointment Reminders – Ensure success in administering both doses of the vaccine to your patient populations by engaging with patients to confirm they attend their second dose appointment within the necessary time frame. CipherHealth’s appointment reminders help ensure that the right patients get scheduled for the right dose at the right time to ensure the highest efficacy rates for the vaccinations in your community. While there are already communication efforts in place about when second dose vaccinations should occur, appointment reminders in conjunction with broadcast messaging can inform recipients in real-time of protocol developments to minimize confusion.
- Post-Visit Outreach – Support your patients by sending them voice recordings or educational content within 24 hours of vaccination, including possible side effects and when to be concerned. Symptom monitoring can begin as early as 24 – 48 hours after injection through a post-visit outreach question set. Should there be an issue that is not a “normal” side-effect, this will be escalated to a live clinician to address their situation. Sending automated voice recordings or text messages post-visit can help reduce unnecessary trips to the ER and doctors’ offices, as well as reduce anxiety and fear of getting the second dose.
- Longitudinal Monitoring – Track and monitor vaccine recipients for a set period of time (while call/text cadence varies, it is recommended 24 hours post-vaccination and up to 15 days post-vaccination) to ensure program effectiveness, patient well-being, and satisfaction. Longitudinal monitoring can track any symptom progression as well as assess patients’ overall well-being over time. Gathering this type of data reporting will be essential to document how the population reacts to different vaccines. As the nation learns more about vaccine recipient clinical response to vaccination, recommendations for post-vaccination monitoring may be modified.
Using any or all of these solutions can immediately alleviate the burden on your front-line caregivers as they work to care for the acutely ill and battle the rising surge of COVID-19 infection. It is with promise and hope that vaccination will quell these rising numbers and that ensuring the safety of our healthcare workers with early vaccination will provide them with the strength and protection they need to continue their heroic work. Throughout the pandemic, CipherHealth has helped hundreds of healthcare organizations adapt to the changing needs of their team to support better outcomes and experiences. Through years of experience with outreach, clinical workflows, and vaccination programs, each of these solutions has been clinically validated and offers proven benefit to the organization.
Contact CipherHealth now so you can be prepared for the rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations to the general population in your community and ensure that your resources can spend time where they are needed most.