Vaccine distribution

How automation can help prevent healthcare worker burnout during COVID-19 vaccine distribution


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    Riley Leight
  • Jan 05, 2021
TLDR

Vaccine distribution, while critical, creates additional demands on healthcare workers' time and attention. How can automated digital communication relieve some of the stress on frontline workers and promote smoother vaccine administration?

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There are two elements of vaccine distribution that most crucially require the time and attention of a healthcare worker: physically administering the dose, and assessing the patient to ensure there are no immediate adverse reactions.

In reality, those are far from the only two tasks workers—from frontline medical personnel to administrative staff—will be expected to carry out over the course of successfully vaccinating the global population against COVID-19.

With unprecedented demand and pressure rising to deliver doses as quickly as possible, the strain on healthcare workers over the course of this pandemic is likely to continue until widespread immunization has been achieved.

Keeping these workers safe, healthy, and as stress-free as possible given the circumstances should be our highest priority—after all, that’s exactly what they’ve done for all of us over the course of this devastating crisis.

Below are four automated digital communication strategies that can be used to help relieve the pressure on healthcare workers.

Quickly determine eligibility during tiered vaccine roll-outs

Due to limited supply, the COVID-19 vaccine is being delivered in tiers of eligibility based on age, occupation, and other risk factors.

Organizations involved in distributing the vaccine can free up staff time answering questions by offering intuitive self-service experiences to help the public determine their eligibility status based on the CDC prioritization guidelines.

Once your chatbot or Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system knows the user’s relevant info, it can efficiently direct them to make an appointment or sign up to be informed once they are eligible for vaccination.

Use multi-channel solutions to make appointments and send reminders

Creating and managing appointments is one of the processes that automated systems are incredibly efficient at handling.

Considering the limited supply and sensitivity of the vaccine in terms of temperature, keeping the public informed about their appointments is an essential cost and time saving measure.

A digital, multi-channel solution like those built with Salesforce Flow and Twilio can allow you to quickly and easily remind the public about their vaccination appointment or notify them of any changes while saving as much time as possible for staff to focus on other essential tasks.

Create a seamless virtual waiting room for patients

Crowded waiting rooms in the middle of a pandemic obviously aren’t ideal—and neither are long lines outdoors in the coldest months of winter.

The challenges presented by COVID-19 testing have shown us the logistics of how to get people in and out of facilities safely are incredibly complex and put stress on both patients and staff.

Instead of dedicating more workers to managing the flow of patients, facilities can use virtual waiting rooms to automate tasks and provide up-to-date info on waiting times and more. Philips Patient Management is one application that allows for remote management of the entire patient journey via SMS and email.

Systems like these can free up time and space by efficiently delivering updates and information without requiring direct staff involvement at every stage.

Collect and sort follow-up data automatically

For the sake of public health, organizations are putting a high level of focus on tracking the efficacy of the vaccine, as well as any potential adverse effects to certain populations.

This information is often collected through direct follow-up surveys which can be automated through a variety of channels like SMS, email, and outbound IVR through services like REDCap’s Twilio integration.

Vaccine distribution

For more information on how digital communications can help deliver the COVID-19 vaccine to the public, read our guide to global vaccine distribution.

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Riley Leight

Riley is a full-time writer based in Annapolis, Maryland.