How Proactive Patient Engagement Created Vaccine Distribution Efficiency in a Time of Crisis
(Edited on 07/12/2022 to update key points)
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as of February 3, 2021, over 32 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine had been administered. Nearly twice that number of vaccines had been distributed. But only 10% of Americans received both doses of the drug. While vaccines were being delivered to the various states, it was the last mile of that distribution, including the administration and management of the doses and the tracking of the recipients, that proved the most difficult.
The Last Mile Challenge
State and local community municipalities, together with hospitals, small healthcare facilities, and pharmacies struggled with the efficient coordination, tracking & management of vaccine dosage shipments, accurate notification, scheduling, and tracking of vaccination dates, first and second dose recipients, and vaccine inventory. There was also the logistical need to monitor vaccine temperature and shelf-life while attempting to maintain a just-in-time amount of vaccine inventory (e.g., maintain enough on-hand for the number of scheduled vaccinations without incurring excess that expires and is wasted). Stakeholders needed to rapidly implement agile processes to: proactively engage priority groups, encourage vaccination, arrange appointments based on vaccine supply & adjust to a fluid situation.
Vaccination Distribution – Complete Step by Step Workflow
While the individual steps in the vaccine distribution process were straightforward, the sheer number of steps in the workflow were many. Communication activities needed to be sequenced, coordinated across stakeholders, and adjusted as priorities evolved, or exceptions occurred. Following is an outline of the detailed, step by step workflow:
- Apply the individual State’s priorities to the forecasted vaccine quantities to segment their constituents and communities
- Create target groups by a date window and healthcare facility based on scheduled quantities
- Notify target recipient groups and encourage them to schedule their first appointments
- Proactively inform other priority recipient groups to prevent healthcare administrators from being overwhelmed with inquiries
- Provide or direct scheduled persons to vaccine information and consent form (using a questionnaire)
- Schedule vaccination appointment
- Confirm appointment (location/place + vaccine recipient) in a follow-up campaign, then initiate proactive reminder campaigns to minimize no-shows
- Include easy options to reschedule or cancel in reminder notifications
- Adjust scheduled recipient groups against vaccine inventory to eliminate lines/queues and to prevent unnecessary vaccine waste
- Administer first scheduled dose
- Update electronic health record (EHR) and other systems of record to track the recipient’s status
- Chain recipient to follow-up activities and second dose/appointment-related campaigns including: a) Managing the second appointment process w/ confirmation information to share and gather b) Appointment Reminders/ Notifications
- Administer the second dose
- Update relevant systems of records to track recipient’s status and chain follow-up activities
Quick Overview: Typical Vaccine Distribution Workflow Requirements
- Create vaccine administration target groups by date and/or facility based on scheduled quantities
- Notify target groups to schedule vaccine AND proactively inform other priority groups.
- Schedule appointment then send disclosure information / collect consent forms.
- Confirm appointments & send reminders w/ option to reschedule or cancel to minimize no-shows.
- Adjust scheduled groups against vaccine inventory to eliminate lines/queues & prevent vaccine waste.
- Administer 1st dose, then update systems & chain-together follow up activity sequence (questionnaire & second dose appointment).
- Schedule 2nd dose appointment, then sent confirmation, information & reminders
- Administer 2nd dose then update systems & chain follow-up activities
Acqueon is a Proven Solution for Healthcare, Vaccine Distribution & Proactive Patient Engagement
Acqueon’s Conversational Engagement Platform provided an incredibly valuable solution to Healthcare Providers and organizations who needed to proactively schedule, administer and distribution vaccines during the onset, peak and aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. The platform’s Advanced, Outbound Campaign Manager alleviated many of the key challenges and difficulties of vaccine distribution, as it managed all aspects of the vaccination workflow process, including outreach communications, notification, scheduling, confirmation, reminders, and tracking activities. In a time of chaos, crisis and act-fast necessity, it provided the Healthcare community with proven, easy-to-use, fast-to-deploy patient and citizen engagement tools that layered into the organization’s existing contact center, CRM or EHR. Acqueon’s tool enabled easy creation, modification and campaign/activity-chaining including assembling lists for campaigns and campaign segmentation on the fly.
The Acqueon software lets you connect to any data source to create actionable lists for notification or outreach. Sources can include an EHR system such as Epic, a simple text, Excel file, or any other system of record. Acqueon offers simple tools to easily segment your lists.
Outreach and appointment setting
Outreach and appointment settings can be set-up as mini campaigns assigned to your teams. The software includes a dialer, 2-way SMS, and email capability to reach out proactively, and effectively, to the various target groups. The campaign module will also automatically reschedule failed outreach attempts to ensure no one in the community is left out.
Notification and reminders
Once enrolled and registered, citizens and patients can be placed on automated reminder and notification campaigns using text or email to minimize no-shows and accelerate the health care timelines (in the time of COVID-19, this pertains to accelerating the timeline of vaccination). At the same time, reminders can be escalated to a voice call for further follow-up and assistance (e.g., appointment rescheduling) as needed.
Chaining and workflow
Outreach and follow-up campaigns can be chained together based on outcomes and dispositions to manage end-to-end workflows. This approach enables dynamic, agile and flexible approach to patient outreach and engagement; if/as priorities or needs change, Acqueon’s Advanced Campaign Manager easily keeps pace and enables simple/fast campaign creation/set up/changes. Also, agents/employees supporting steps in the Vaccine workflow can be scripted to ensure meaningful dialogues with targeted vaccine recipients. The campaign management solution also includes a powerful report generator for the creation and distribution of vaccine shipment reports, inoculations completed, exception reports, etc.
Proven to be the leading Conversational Engagement solutions for Proactive Patient Engagement
When choosing tools and technology to support your business, especially in literal matters of life, health and wellness, proof points matter. By the end of 2021, Acqueon’s Conversational Engagement Platform and Advanced Campaign Manager had successfully supported the efficient scheduling and administering of 5,000 vaccination appointments per day for a county municipality who deployed our solution to mitigate the time-sensitive challenges of COVID-19 and vaccine administration. Acqueon was also used by State Government to provide essential services for handling and managing call spikes related to COVID-19 and vaccines. The Platform has also enabled Healthcare and Vaccine Administrators to accurately track dosage information, schedule second dose appointments with confirmations and reminders, reduce human error and prevent vaccine wastage. One of the reasons so many of the nation’s top hospital systems, medical providers & payors have chosen Acqueon’s platform to implement proactive patient engagement is speed to market. Whether an organization’s patient engagement needs are vaccine-related & time sensitive or routine in nature, Acqueon’s platform gets you set up and ready to deploy in a matter of days. And anyone in the medical community knows that when it comes to keeping people healthy, every second matters.