Existing technologies have paved the way for mass vaccination efforts

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Vaccination enthusiasm among those who refuse to take COVID-19 vaccine may be declining in recent months. But when the Pfizer / BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson vaccines were first approved for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration, Americans first faced challenges when it came to vaccinating and distributing vaccines.

Now, with the supply of vaccines and the American idea of ​​getting their bullets slowed down, there seems to be less demand. However, the future of an ongoing epidemic is still uncertain, and there are future outbreaks that, as a country and the health care system, are considering ways to better address distribution challenges.

Arizona-based nonprofit healthcare system HonorHealth managed existing technologies to meet the initial challenge by administering more than 800 files in two days in a single deployment. The system has been able to use this technology to create, deploy, and duplicate successful mass vaccination workflows in car-clinics, pedestrian clinics, and mobile settings.

Rebecca Wissner, pharmacist and senior application analyst at HonorHealth IT, and HonorHealth’s IT applications director, spoke at the HIMSS21 Annual Conference in Las Vegas: »

The first challenge was significant. A.D. The system has been asked to work with the county and the state to be one of the five distribution points for Maricopa County, which has about 4.5 million by 2020. HonorHealth is tasked with focusing on the North Valley region where approximately 12,000 health care workers need immunizations under the Arizona Initiative Plan.

The system partnered with the county to become a distribution station, but it needed to know how to do mass drive vaccines effectively and efficiently. Fortunately, HonorHealth was on its side in August 2020 to form a steering committee to work on issues such as workflows, location and infrastructure. It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.

After partnering with the Mayo Clinic, HonorHealth was able to create a mass vaccination drive in the local parking lot with five tents and clear driveways. The station hosted the first dose of the vaccine on December 14, 2020, and was fully operational on the 17th day, delivering about 800 doses on the first day.

“We do not have all immunization appointments. We were not involved in the historic mass vaccination, so we had to find out how to do it quickly and efficiently.

Why not give up immunization efforts to the county and state?

“We want to vaccinate our healthcare workers just like any other health care provider,” Wissner said. “We wanted to serve the general public and the community well, and we wanted to be the first to provide this to our staff. We really had a drive to do this. We all worked together – it was all on hand. Everyone in the organization had a role to play in some fashion. In some cases, people have taken on general responsibilities to help with this, but we have all come together.

To achieve this, HonorHealth used some of the tools already in the toolbox. He used his already well-known electronic health record, and developed an advance tool to identify clinics and providers in the care frontline.

The health system in Mayo has set priorities with its staff and partners and initially made appointments for those individuals. HonorHealth also quickly set up a chatbox using its own technology, and as people began to fill in their information, it gave the organization a glimpse of how many people were interested and who should be scheduled first.

Through the patient’s door, immunization candidates are invited to meet and make appointments.

“We have decided to make mass appointments from the beginning,” Wisner said. It was very important for us to go and get the second size. We need a high degree of obedience.

“We had those second-degree appointments, so we could go back to the county or county and tell them how much we needed, and we were assigned accordingly.”

Text messages were sent to immunization candidates to let them know when to confirm their appointment, and HonorHealth used COVID-19 signal testing and home monitoring alerts.

“We realized we were building a fairly effective process,” Wissner said. We have been able to accommodate our clinics, our general clinic and our mobile clinic. We have made the vaccine available to people who cannot afford it. All clinics, including mobile phones, use the same procedures as before. Mass Immunization Clinic. We used that same workflow, and it was something we were not fully prepared for. But since it is a module, we are happy to work with you in any situation.

According to Blackford, it is important to be aware of the limitations of any health system when it comes to similar initiatives.

“We had to integrate tolerance as much as possible,” said Blackford. During an epidemic, the number of patients may increase rapidly. We also do not want to change things for doctors. We have only changed things if there is an amazing benefit to change. Things like things that are out of your control can change. Qualified: So we had to make adjustments along the way. “

One of these adjustments was to optimize the system’s training document. Meanwhile, patient follow-up has been carried out as immunization efforts have shifted to clinics. Patients were given immunization cards, and if they disappeared, HorHealth staff published the summary of the visit. New vaccines may leave a record of their immunizations, or they may later access them through the patient’s login.

According to Blackford, HonorHealth keeps everything in the system as it allows employees to submit their own reports and login reports.

“One of the great things about mass vaccines is that you know when to take them,” he said. It is very easy to verify that all the information is correct.

From December 2020 to May 2021, HonorHealth administered more than 111,000 total immunizations, with a secondary follow-up rate of 99%.

Looking ahead, HonorHeath is developing a coalition to provide certified copies of immunization records, and is looking at another round of booster vaccination that requires semi-distribution. But he feels that the health system is ready.

“We feel better now,” Wissner said.

Twitter: @ Jelgassie
Email the author – jeff.lagasse@himssmedia.com

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